Slip Anchor, the winner of the 1985 Derby for his owner/breeder Lord Howard de Walden, has been euthanised at the age of 29.
He spent his last years in retirement at Plantation Stud, where he was born and took up stallion duties in 1987.
“It’s a really sad day for all of us here,” said Plantation Stud Manager Adrian O’Brien. “He just started to go downhill in the last few weeks and, with Lady Howard, we decided that the time was right. It has become almost a cliché in these circumstances, but it was due to the infirmities of old age.”
Trained by Sir Henry Cecil, Slip Anchor was by the 1978 Derby winner Shirley Heights out of the German mare Sayonara. He streaked to victory in the Lingfield Derby Trial, winning by ten lengths en route to his Classic success.
Ridden at Epsom by Steve Cauthen, he took the lead from the off and powered farther clear of his rivals around Tattenham Corner to land the Derby by seven lengths.
At stud, Slip Anchor’s best performers included Oaks winner User Friendly, multiple Group winner Posidonas, Ebor hero Give The Slip and Derby Italiano winner Morshdi.
Speaking to Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder last year for the 25th anniversary of Slip Anchor’s Derby victory, Lady Howard de Walden said: “Plantation has been his home for so many years and he’s really happy here. He was the most special racehorse and it gave my husband great pleasure to have owned and bred a Classic winner.”