Brilliant Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Sakhee has died at the age of 24, Shadwell have announced.
Carrying the blue and white silks of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, the Bahri colt finished second in the 2000 Derby to Sinndar when trained by John Dunlop and then fourth to Giant’s Causeway in the Eclipse, in a portent of what was to come.
Sakhee joined Godolphin and Saeed bin Suroor for his four-year-old season, winning the Juddmonte International and Arc before being beaten a nose by Tiznow in an unforgettable Breeders’ Cup Classic on the dirt at Belmont Park.
A statement on the Shadwell website read: “Shadwell legend Sakhee, crowned Europe’s champion older horse in 2001, was put down on Friday due to the infirmities of old age. He was 24.
“Sakhee was bred by the late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum and was the best performer sired by Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner Bahri. He was one of eight winners out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Thawakib, whose biggest success came in the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.
“After being born and raised at Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Farm in Kentucky, it was only fitting that Sakhee was sent to Arundel to be trained by John Dunlop, as he had overseen the careers of both Bahri and Thawakib.
“Sakhee had been living out a happy retirement at Nunnery Stud since his retirement from breeding at the end of 2016. He will be much missed by everyone in the Shadwell operation.”
Bin Suroor hailed Sakhee as one of the best runners of recent times.
He said: “It’s very sad. He was one of the best horses to come to Godolphin and one of the best I have trained.
“He was an Arc winner and a Juddmonte winner and many other races. We will miss him, but he will be in the memory for a long time.
“He is one of the best in horse racing history.”