Diesis (horse)

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SireSharpen Up
DamDoubly Sure
Foaled23 April 1980
CountryGreat Britain
BreederLord Howard de Walden
OwnerLord Howard de Walden
TrainerHenry Cecil
Record5: 3 - 1 - 0
Major wins
Middle Park Stakes (1982)
Dewhurst Stakes (1982)
Top-rated European two-year-old (1982)
Timeform top-rated two-year-old (1982)
Timeform rating: 133
Last updated on January 19, 2008

Diesis (23 April 1980 – 18 November 2006) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. An outstanding two-year-old in 1982, he failed to live up to expectations at three, but went on to become an extremely successful breeding stallion, based in the United States.


Diesis was a chestnut horse with a white star and three white socks bred in England by his owner 9th Baron Howard de Walden. He was sired by Sharpen Up out of the noted broodmare Doubly Sure,[1] making him a full brother to the champion miler Kris,[2] and a half-brother to several other good winners including Rudimentary (Sandown Mile). The colt was named after the printer's symbol "‡" also known as a "double dagger". He was trained by Henry Cecil at his Warren Place stable in Newmarket, Suffolk.

Racing career[edit]

As a juvenile, Diesis won three races from four starts. After running fifth in a maiden race on his debut he won the Rhys-Jenkins and Standing Stakes by seven lengths. He was then moved up in class and won the Group One Middle Park Stakes over six furlongs at Newmarket Racecourse in October. Later that month he returned to Newmarket for the Dewhurst Stakes over seven furlongs, in which he was matched against Gorytus an unbeaten colt from the Dick Hern stable with an exceptional reputation. Gorytus ran very poorly (he was widely believed to have been drugged) and Diesis won his second Group One race very easily. He was the highest rated European two-year-old in the 1982 International Classification, a collaboration between the official handicappers of Britain, France and Ireland. Diesis was also rated the best two-year-old of the season by the independent Timeform organisation.[3]

The spring of 1983 was unusually cold and wet, and Henry Cecil, along with many other trainers, had difficulty bringing his horses to peak fitness. His problems were compounded when Diesis suffered from lameness in early April and then injured a leg shortly before his seasonal debut in the 2000 Guineas. On 30 April Diesis started 100/30 favourite for the Guineas, but finished eighth of the sixteen runners behind Lomond. On his only other race, Diesis was beaten by The Noble Player in a seven furlong race at Kempton Park in May.[4]

Stud record[edit]

Although standing as a stallion in Kentucky, Diesis' most successful progeny ran in Europe, including Epsom Oaks and Irish Oaks winners Diminuendo, Love Divine and Ramruma, Eclipse Stakes winner Elmaamul, and multiple Group 1 winning 10 furlong specialist Halling.

He also sired North American Grade 1 winners Continuously, Husband, Rootentootenwooten, ex-English trained Storm Trooper, and 2010 Arlington Million winner Debussy.

Diesis was euthanised on 18 November 2006 at Mill Ridge Farm, Lexington, Kentucky after fracturing a hip.[5]


Pedigree of Diesis (GB), chestnut stallion, 1980[6]
Sharpen Up (GB)
Native Dancer Polynesian
Mixed Marriage Tudor Minstrel
Persian Maid
Rockefella Hyperion
Chambiges Majano
Doubly Sure (FR)
Tantieme Deux-Pour-Cent
Relance Relic
Soft Angels
Crepello Donatello
Sweet Angel Honeyway
No Angel (Family:2-o)


  1. ^ "Diesis pedigree". equineline.com. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  2. ^ "Diesis' magic lives on". Thoroughbredinternet.com. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  3. ^ Morris, Tony; Randall, John (1990). Horse Racing: Records, Facts, Champions (Third Edition). Guinness Publishing. ISBN 0-85112-902-1.
  4. ^ Timeform (1984). Racehorses of 1983. Timeform. ISBN 0-900599-40-5.
  5. ^ "Kentucky Stallion Diesis Dead". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  6. ^ "Diesis pedigree". equineline.com. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-08-18.