Dansili, a stalwart of the British breeding industry for two decades, has died at Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket following a short but aggressive illness. The son of Danehill was 25-years-old.
A major influence on the breed, he leaves behind 22 Group or Grade 1 winners, a collection of successful sire sons and an evolving legacy as a premier broodmare sire.
Simon Mockridge, general manager of Juddmonte Farms (UK), paid tribute to Dansili, who was a firm favourite of the staff at Banstead Manor Stud.
“As a racehorse he was durable, genuine, consistent and expertly handled by André Fabre throughout his career,” he said. “Although he deserved a Group 1 victory on the racecourse, having been placed in six, that somehow always managed to evade him. During his 17 years at stud he played an intrinsic role alongside Oasis Dream in establishing the reputation of the Juddmonte roster. A truly wonderful, reliable and uncomplicated character as a stallion, he was a firm favourite of the Stallion Team and Juddmonte as a whole. He will be greatly missed.”
Juddmonte-homebred Dansili was the first foal out of its Listed winner Hasili, subsequently the dam of Group or Grade 1 winners Cacique, Champs Elysees, Banks Hill, Heat Haze and Intercontinental, and provided a taste of her exceptional ability as a broodmare by becoming a top-class miler under the care of Andre Fabre.
In all, he won five races, including the Group 2 Prix du Muguet and Group 3 Prix Messidor and Prix Edmond Blanc, and although a much deserved Group 1 never fell his way, he came close on several occasions, notably when second in the Sussex Stakes to Giant’s Causeway, the Prix de la Forêt to Indian Lodge and the Poule d’Essai des Poulains to Sendawar. He also posted the fastest closing quarter in Breeders’ Cup history when a fast-finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, despite having suffered trouble in running.
Dansili entered stud at Banstead Manor Stud for the 2001 season at an affordable £8,000 having been crowned the European champion older miler of 2000. As a Juddmonte stallion, he was able to rely upon the early backing of its powerful broodmare band and he was swift to reward Prince Khalid Abdullah’s support as the sire of his Group 3-winning two-year-old Early March out of his first crop and his 2006 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Grand Prix de Paris hero Rail Link and demoted Poule d’Essai des Pouliches winner Price Tag out of his second.
With that, it was almost immediately apparent that Dansili was an asset towards the Juddmonte broodmare band, something that was consistently confirmed in later years through the fellow talented Juddmonte homebreds Flintshire, a five-time Group/Grade 1 winner and the earner of $9.6 million, four-time Grade 1 winner Proviso, Grand Prix de Paris winner Zambezi Sun and the Group/Grade 1-winning fillies Passage Of Time, Juliet Foxtrot, Emulous and Winsili. Khalid Abdullah also bred and raced Bated Breath, a Group 2-winning sprinter who like his sire came close to Group 1 success on several occasions.
Various outside breeders also fared well with Dansili, for whom he also sired the likes of multiple Group 1 winner The Fugue, Harbinger, the runaway winner of the 2010 King George, 2014 1,000 Guineas heroine Miss France, Group 1-winning two-year-old Zoffany and the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winners Queen’s Best and Dank.
Dansili’s stock were particularly well suited to racing conditions in America, which has played host to Grade 1 wins for Flintshire, Juliet Foxtrot, Proviso and Blowout, successful in this year’s Grade 1 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland. However, the same could also be said of Australia, where he forged a fine reputation as the sire of Group 1 winners Grand Marshal and Foreteller alongside Group 2 winner Permit.
At his peak, Dansili commanded a fee of £100,000. Naturally, he has come to be well represented within the sire ranks by various sons including the popular Bated Breath, who retired to stand alongside his sire at Banstead Manor Stud and is currently the sire of 20 stakes winners. Zoffany, who died earlier this year, was also a proven Group 1 sire for Coolmore, as was illustrated yet again this year via the exploits of his 1,000 Guineas-winning daughter Mother Earth.
Harbinger, meanwhile, remains one of the most popular sires in Japan; aided by his ability to click effectively with Sunday Silence-mares, he is the sire of five Group 1 winners, including globe-trotter Deirdre and Japanese champion Blast Onepiece.
Flintshire moves from Kentucky to Haras de Montaigu in France for the 2022 season with a highly promising youngster to his credit in Juddmonte’s recent Grade 3-winning juvenile Verbal while in Australasia, the Group 2-winning Zacinto has been represented by a New Zealand 2,000 Guineas winner in Uno Foscolo.
Dansili also leaves a major mark as a broodmare sire, notably via the likes of Expert Eye, Chiquita, Nezwaah, Astaire and Time Test.
Dansili was pensioned from stud duties in 2018 at the age of 22.