Darley’s outstanding stallion Shamardal has been euthanised at Kildangan Stud in Ireland due to health issues. He was 18.

Shamardal, a son of Giant’s Causeway, was a top-class performer on the racetrack. Initially trained by Mark Johnston, he was unbeaten in three starts as a two-year-old, culminating with victory in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes.

At three he captured the Poule d’Essai des Poulains, Prix du Jockey Club and St James’s Palace Stakes in the care of Saeed bin Suroor before injury curtailed his career. He took up stallion duties at Darley’s Irish base at Kildangan Stud for the 2005 breeding season.

During his time at stud, Shamardal supplied a number of top-class performers including dual Group 1-winning filly Speedy Boarding, Lope De Vega, who matched his sire with wins in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains and Prix du Jockey Club, and brilliant sprinter Blue Point, successful in last year’s King’s Stand Stakes and Diamond Jubilee Stakes, now standing at Kildangan Stud.

Shamardal enjoyed a remarkable 2019 with his juvenile colts as the sire of unbeaten Group 1-winning trio Pinatubo, Victor Ludorum and Earthlight, all Classic prospects for this season.

Bin Suroor, paying tribute to Shamardal, said: “We were all very sad to hear of the passing of Shamardal. He was a champion two-year-old and became one of Godolphin’s best horses, winning two Classics in France as well as the St James’s Palace Stakes.

“He went on to establish himself as a top sire, producing exception horses throughout the world, and everyone is going to miss him. It is a sad day but I am sure that his progeny will continue his legacy both on the racecourse and in the breeding sheds.”

Godolphin Ireland’s Managing Director, Joe Osborne, said: “Shamardal embodied mental and physical toughness – as a racehorse and as a stallion. As the racing world has seen over the past 15 years, he passed those qualities on to his progeny.

“He contended with a range of health issues over recent years and did so with fortitude and resilience. It’s a tough day for us saying goodbye to him.

“This is an appropriate time to thank our team of stallion personnel and support professionals who cared for him so well and so kindly throughout his time here at Kildangan Stud.”

Sam Bullard, Director of Stallions, said: “Shamardal has been the mainstay of our Irish stallion roster for many years and will be sorely missed by the team at Kildangan.

“His record as a sire speaks for itself and we have enjoyed many great days on the racecourse courtesy of his sons and daughters.

“Led by the imperious Pinatubo, Shamardal’s juvenile crop of last year was truly outstanding, siring three unbeaten Group 1-winning juvenile colts, a feat never achieved before since the start of the Pattern.”