Ireland has lots one of its leading jumps sires with the death of Beneficial at the weekend. He was 23.
Currently out in front on the National Hunt stallion table for Britain and Ireland, Beneficial’s sons and daughters have amassed a total of £1,708,206 in prize-money this season and landed three races at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Bred by Sir Robin McAlpine, Beneficial was a Top Ville half-brother to Melbourne Cup winner Jeune. The siblings achieved the rare feat of both winning at the same Royal Ascot meeting – Beneficial landing the King Edward VII Stakes for Geoff Wragg while the year-older Jeune won the Hardwicke Stakes in 1993, the year before his success at Flemington.
Beneficial joined Sean Kinsella’s Knockhouse Stud in Co Kilkenny in 2000 and has built an impressive array of jumping representatives in that time, including Cooldine, Monksland, Kid Cassidy and this season’s trio of Cheltenham winners, Benefficient, Salubrious and Salsify. On Sunday at Fairyhouse, Beneficial eight-year-old Realt Mor emulated his full-brother Realt Dubh by winning the Grade 1 Powers Gold Cup.
Beneficial had been leading last saeson’s National Hunt sires’ table for the majority of the season but was collared late in the season by King’s Theatre, another recent loss to the jumps stallion ranks. He is currently followed in the table by Oscar on £1,525,411 in earnings and King’s Theatre (£1,506,222). Flemensfirth, Milan and Presenting are the other three stalliosn whose progeny have earned in excess of £1 million for the 2012/13 season to date.
Given his consistent success over recent years, Beneficial had attracted a three-figure book of mares for the current breeding season and had covered 30 of them at the time of his death.