Danehill (horse)

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Racing silks of Khalid Abdullah.svg
Racing silks of Khalid Abdullah
GrandsireNorthern Dancer
DamsireHis Majesty
Foaled(1986-03-26)26 March 1986
Died13 May 2003(2003-05-13) (aged 17)
CountryUnited States
BreederJuddmonte Farms
OwnerPrince Khalid Abdullah
TrainerJeremy Tree
Record9: 4-1-2
Major wins
Cork and Orrery Stakes (1989)
Haydock Sprint Cup (1989)
Leading sire in Australia (1995-1997, 2000-2005)
Leading sire in France (2001, 2007)
Leading sire in GB & Ireland (2005, 2006, 2007)
Leading broodmare sire in North America (2011)
Leading broodmare sire in GB & Ireland (2012)
Australian Racing Hall of Fame
Last updated on August 25, 2014

Danehill (March 26, 1986 – May 13, 2003) was a Thoroughbred racehorse who was bred in the United States. During his stud career, Danehill became a champion sire on both sides of the Equator. He is the most successful sire of all time with 349 stakes winners and 89 Group/Grade I winners[citation needed]. He was the leading sire in Australia nine times, the leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland three times, and the leading sire in France twice.


He was a bay stallion by leading sire Danzig (by Northern Dancer) out of Razyana (by His Majesty). Danehill was inbred twice to Natalma in the third generation (3x3) of his pedigree. He was a brother to a stakes winner, Eagle Eyed, and two other stallions, Anziyan and Nuclear Freeze.[1] Danehill was owned during his racing career by Khalid Abdullah, who also bred him.

Racing career[edit]

Trained by Jeremy Tree, Danehill faced the starter nine times, winning four races and only twice finishing unplaced. As a three-year-old, following a third place in the 2,000 Guineas behind Nashwan and a fourth place in the Irish equivalent, Danehill was switched to shorter distances and developed into a champion sprinter, winning the Cork and Orrery Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Haydock Sprint Cup. During his racing career he earned a total of £177,465.[2]

Stud record[edit]

Danehill retired to stud duties in 1990 at the Coolmore Stud in Ireland and made his greatest impact as a stallion.

Sold by his owner to the partnership of Arrowfield Stud of Scone, New South Wales, Australia, and Ireland's Coolmore Stud, he came to Australia as a shuttle stallion in 1990. At the end of the stud season, he returned to Coolmore Stud in Ireland. He was an immediate sensation at stud in Australia, where he was leading sire on many occasions. Danehill returned to Australia ten more times and also served one season at stud in Japan during 1996.[3]

With his appeal to European breeders, he became the first high-profile shuttle stallion, standing the northern hemisphere covering season at Coolmore's Irish facility. Coolmore subsequently became his sole owner after a $24 million deal, making him the most valuable Thoroughbred in Australian breeding history.[4]

Danehill's success in Europe was just as spectacular, exemplified by sons such as Horse of the Year Rock of Gibraltar (10 wins, $3,524,874) and dual Classic winner Desert King. His offspring are often extremely hardy, none more so than superstar son Dylan Thomas (10 wins, $8,065,317, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe) Even more significantly, many of his sons are now emerging as top stallions and his bloodline looks sure to become a mainstay of Thoroughbred pedigrees like that of his illustrious sire and grandsire. His son, the Australian super sire, Redoute's Choice, stands at a fee of $198,000 (2009) per mare.[5] In Europe, sons such as Danehill Dancer and Dansili are now established among the top class sires.

The list of Group/Grade One winners sired by Danehill in both hemispheres is as follows: Al Maher, Aqua D'Amore, Aquarelliste (FR) (7 wins, $2,569,170), Arena (6 wins, $2,256,638), Arlington Road, Artiste Royal, Asia, Aussie Rules, Banks Hill (5 wins, $3,535,664), Blackfriars, Cacique, Camarena, Catbird (5 wins $1,755,670), Champs Elysees (6 wins, $2,931,818),Clodovil, Danarani, Danasinga (6 wins, $1,156,900, sire), Dane Ripper (12 wins, $3,151,833), Danehill Dancer, Danelagh, Danendri, Danestorm, Danewin (13 wins, $2,031,466 and sire), Daney Boy, Danish, Danske, Danzero, Darci Brahma (10 wins, $1,122,757), Dashing Eagle, Desert King, Dr Duke, Dress To Thrill, Dylan Thomas, Duke of Marmalade (GB) (6 wins, $3,065,542), Echelon, Elvstroem (10 wins, $5,704,519), Emerald Dream, Exceed And Excel, Fairy King Prawn (12 wins, $6,642,047), Fastnet Rock, Fine Motion, Flying Spur (6 wins $2,085,843; Leading sire in Australia 2006-07), George Washington (6 wins, $1,912,798), Grey Lilas, Ha Ha, Holy Roman Emperor, Horatio Nelson, Indian Danehill, Intercontinental, Johan Cruyff, Joie Denise, Keeper, Laisserfaire, Landseer, Larrocha, Light Jig, Luas Line, Lucky Owners, Magic Of Sydney, Magical Miss, Merlene, Miss Danehill, Mountain High, Mozart, Mr Murphy (11 wins, $1,500,250), North Light, Nothin' Leica Dane, Oratorio (6 wins, $2,459,491), Peeping Fawn, Platinum Scissors, Punctilious, Redoute's Choice (5 wins, $1,567,850), Regal Rose, Rena's Lady, Rock of Gibraltar, Rumplestiltskin, Scintillation (12 wins, $3,956,157), Shinzig, Simply Perfect, Smart Choices, Spartacus, Special Dane, The Duke, Tiger Hill (10 wins, $1,895,792), Viking Ruler, Wannabe Grand, Westerner (11 wins, $2,592,726), Zipping (15 wins, $4,320,195) [6] He also sired Best Gain (風雲) sold for HK$2.3 million (US$295,000) in the 1998 Hong Kong International Sale. He ran 16 races during his career but was unable to earn any prize money.

Danehill was the sire of 2,008 runners, 1,545 winners (76.9%), 349 stakes winners (17.4%), 232 stakesplaced (11.6%). His progeny have won more than A$375 million and have included 89 group 1 winners among his 349 stakes winners. Duke of Marmalade (foaled in Ireland and imported into Australia) was one of Danehill's last foal crop, which comprised 96 live foals in 2003. Danehill has 114 sons and 56 grandsons at stud in Australia, plus 459 daughters who are broodmares.[7] Danehill is the paternal grandsire of Makybe Diva (Desert King-Tugela), who won the Melbourne Cup three times and had earnings of A$14,526,685. He has now also become a leading broodmare sire of, among a host of top-class horses, superstar miler Frankel, Danedream who won the 2011 Arc in record time, dual Classic winner Golden Lilac, two-year-old champion Teofilo and Melbourne Cup winner Shocking (Street Cry-Maria Di Castiglia).

Danzig and his son, Danehill, were dominant bay sires along with 83 of Danehill's sons. This meant that they would not produce chestnut progeny and only a grey if the foal's dam was grey.[8]

On 13 May 2003, Danehill died in a paddock accident at Coolmore Stud. He was being hand-led in his paddock when he reared playfully and landed awkwardly, breaking a hip. Even with some of the world's best veterinary practitioners on hand, it was decided there was no alternative but to put the horse down. Coolmore received £36 million from their insurance upon his death.[9]


Pedigree of Danehill (USA), bay stallion, 1986
Danzig (USA)
Northern Dancer (CAN)
Nearctic [CAN] Nearco
Lady Angela
Natalma (USA) Native Dancer
Pas de Nom (USA)
Admiral's Voyage Crafty Admiral
Olympia Lou
Petitioner (GB) Petition
Steady Aim
Razyana (USA)
His Majesty Ribot (GB) Tenerani
Flower Bowl Alibhai
Flower Bed
Spring Adieu (CAN) Buckpasser Tom Fool
Natalma (USA) Native Dancer
Almahmoud (Family: 2D)

Danehill is inbred 3 x 3 to Natalma. This means that Danehill is inbred 4 x 4 to both Native Dancer and Almahmoud.


  1. ^ ASB - Razyana (USA) Retrieved on 2009-8-13
  2. ^ "Danehill | Stud Record". Bloodstock.racingpost.com. 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2012-12-09.
  3. ^ ASB - Migration Retrieved on 200-8-12
  4. ^ Champion Danehill dies in accident Retrieved on 200-8-12
  5. ^ ASB - Stallions Standing in 2009 in NSW Retrieved on 200-8-12
  6. ^ ASB - Danehill (USA) offspring Retrieved on 200-8-12
  7. ^ ASB - Daughters Retrieved on 200-8-12
  8. ^ Racetrack Sires 2009, June/August, 2009, Australian Stud Book's Database, Michael Ford
  9. ^ Champion Danehill dies in accident Retrieved on 200-8-12