Großvater von Armigerent (IRE) xx
Sadler's Wells (11 April 1981-26 April 2011) was a Thoroughbred racehorse who was later a leading sire in France, Great Britain & Ireland and North America during the 1990s. He was the most dominant sire in the world during the past quarter century, and the greatest sire ever in Europe, though he achieved amazing success worldwide, including in the United States, Canada, Asia, Dubai and Australia. Only Danehill has sired more stakes winners than Sadler's Wells. He was foaled in 1981 in the United States, but achieved most of his racing and breeding fame in Europe.
Sadler's Wells was a bay horse with a broad white blaze and white socks on his hind legs. He was by Northern Dancer, the most successful sire of his era, out of Fairy Bridge by Bold Reason. Fairy Bridge, a sister of the disqualified 2000 Guineas winner Nureyev, was a highly successful broodmare, producing the National Stakes winner Tate Gallery and the successful breeding stallion Fairy King.
The colt was sent into training with Vincent O'Brien at Ballydoyle. Throughout his racing career, Sadler's had a characteristic running style, galloping with his head at an unusually high angle.
1983: two-year-old season
Sadler's Wells made his first appearance in September at Leopardstown Racecourse when he ran in a seven furlong maiden race. The colt was ridden by Pat Eddery and started the 1/2 favourite in a field of sixteen runners. He was always among the leaders and drew away from his opponents in the straight to win by six lengths from Cyrano. Three weeks later he was moved up in class for the Group Three Beresford Stakes at the Curragh. Racing over one mile on soft ground led from the start and won by six lengths from Cerussite. In the International Classification, he was given a rating of 78, ten pounds behind the top-rated El Gran Senor, who was also owned by Sangster and trained by O'Brien.
1984: three-year-old season
On his first race as a three-year-old, Sadler's Wells met El Gran Senor on the racecourse for the first and only time, when he finished second to his stable companion in the seven furlong Gladness Stakes at the Curragh. Sadler's Wells won the ten furlong Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial and was then brought back in distance for the Irish 2,000 Guineas over one mile. In a closely contested finish, he won from the French-trained Procida and the favourite Secreto. The O'Brien trained Capture Him, whom Eddery had chosen to ride in preference to Sadlers Wells, finished fourth.
The one mile St. James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot was named as the colt's next target, but instead he was moved up in distance for the Prix du Jockey Club, a race which O'Brien had won the previous year with Caerleon. Sadler's Wells took the lead in the straight but was overtaken in the closing stages and beaten one and a half lengths by Darshaan, with Rainbow Quest in third. In July, Sadler's Wells was the only three-year-old in a field of nine runners for the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park. The Irish colt took the lead in the straight and held off the challenge of the mare Time Charter to win by a neck. The race was a rough and unsatisfactory one, but the winner was praised for his "battling" and "determined" performance against more experienced rivals. Later that month, Sadler's Wells ran second to Teenoso in a strong field for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, finishing ahead of Tolomeo, Time Charter, Sun Princess and Darshaan.
Sadler's Wells failed to reproduce his best form when fourth in the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup at York, but returned to the track two weeks later for the inaugural running of the Phoenix Champion Stakes, the most valuable race ever run in Ireland. The colt took the lead from the Irish Oaks winner Princess Pati two furlongs from the finish and held the late challenge of Seattle Song to win by three quarters of a length. His success took his winning prize money for the season to £384,114. At the time, this was the fourth highest single season total for any horse trained in Britain or Ireland, behind Troy (£408,424 in 1979), Tolomeo (£400,000 in 1983) and Shergar (£386,410 in 1981). On his last appearance, Sadler's Wells was sent to Longchamp in October for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, but ran disappointingly: after being among the leaders on the turn into the straight, he faded to finish eighth behind Sagace.
Sadler's Wells was given a rating of 90 by the International Classification, making him the sixth best horse of the year in Europe behind El Gran Senor (98), Teenoso (95), Sagace (93), Chief Singer (92) and Darshaan (91).
Sadler's Wells greatest achievement came as a champion sire and much of the Coolmore breeding empire is founded on his success. Sadler's Wells has been Champion Sire in Great Britain & Ireland 14 times, as well as Champion Sire in France three times and North America once. He has produced over 323 stakes winners and 80 individual Group 1/Grade I winners!
One of his great sons was IN THE WINGS, father of ARMIGERENT!
IN THE WINGS (1986-2004) was bred, owned and raced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Sadler's Wells died peacefully on 26 April 2011 at the age of 30 at Coolmore Stud.