Tributes paid to one of racing’s great modern-day sires

Godolphin and Darley have been paying tribute to Cape Cross, a foundation sire of the global breeding operation, who has been put down aged 23, following complications associated with old age.

Cape Cross, a G1 winner in the Godolphin colours, was a phenomenal success at stud, siring Champions such as Golden Horn, Sea The Stars and Ouija Board, and becoming only one of 17 stallions to have produced more than one Epsom Derby winner as well as becoming broodmare sire of a blue riband winner.

Joe Osborne, managing director of Godophin, Ireland, where Cape Cross stood at Kildangan Stud in the northern hemisphere, said the stallion had been hugely influential, particularly in Darley's formative years when he became the flagship of the operation.

"He has been an integral part of the Godolphin and Darley stories, and an integral part of Kildangan," Osborne said.

"He was our first major success as a stallion. He was champion first-season sire, making an immediate impact, and went on to sire a collection of outstanding racehorses, who left their mark in some of the world's great races.

"As an individual, he was the boss. You did it his way. He very much ruled the roost," he added.

In 2000, Cape Cross started shuttling to the southern hemisphere, first to Sir Patrick Hogan's Cambridge Stud in New Zealand, then to Kelvinside stud in Australia.

He was retired from stallion duties in 2016. 

Saeed bin Suroor, who trained Cape Cross to his memorable G1 Lockinge Stakes victory, described him as a "very special horse."

Saeed said: "Cape Cross was one of best horses Godolphin had in those early days. He was something special for all of us at that time.

"He was a very good racehorse and an outstanding sire, one of the best in the world. His legacy is the number of champions he left.

"In the mornings, he was a joy to train. He was a professional in the way he approached his work. He was also a kind horse. 

"I am sad to hear he has died. We are all going to miss him," Saeed added.