Danehill Dancer, a champion juvenile in Ireland who went on to become one of the leading lights of Coolmore’s stallion roster, has died. In a release Monday, Coolmore said the 24-year-old pensioner was euthanized this week due to the infirmities of old age.
Named Ireland’s leading two-year-old in 1995 following wins in the Phoenix (G1) and National (G1), Danehill Dancer retired with a record of 11-4-1-1, $338,511. The son of Danehill and Mira Adonde, by Sharpen Up, would go on to be a powerhouse at stud, leading the sire ranks in England and Ireland in 2009 and becoming the leading sire of juveniles on three occasions.
Mastercraftsman followed in Danehill Dancer’s footsteps, being named Irish champion two-year-old in 2008 after wins in the Phoenix and National. He later added the Irish 2000 Guineas (G2) and St James’s Palace (G1) at three. Other European classic winners sired by Danehill Dancer include the fillies Legatissimo, Dancing Rain, Speciosa, and Again.
Danehill Dancer’s list of highweights throughout Europe extended to Esoterique, Lillie Langtry, Hillstar, Anna Pavlova, Wajir, Here Comes When, Nordtanzerin, Set to Music, Rose Bonheur, and Aleagueoftheirown, while Callwood Dancer was a champion in Canada.
Danehill Dancer’s offspring also made a huge impact in Australia, with juvenile champion Choisir the standout. The filly Private Steer was also a champion Down Under, while Light Fantastic, Steps in Time, Arapaho Miss and Atomic Force were all Group 1 winners.
As a broodmare sire, Danehill Dancer had a notable year in 2016 with standouts Minding, Alice Springs, and The Gurkha making their own special marks on the European racing season.
“Danehill Dancer was a wonderful sire and has left a significant legacy at Coolmore through his sons Mastercraftsman and Choisir and grandson Starspangledbanner, while The Gurkha is a very exciting sire prospect for the future,” said M.V. Magnier in the release. “His brilliant daughter Legatissimo was scanned in foal to Galileo this morning and Minding and Alice Springs will be very welcome additions to the broodmare band once they finish their racing careers.”
Danehill Dancer was pensioned from stud duty in 2014.