Michael Owen (right) with Brown Panther, a son of Treble Heights
Owen's prized mare Treble Heights dies
TREBLE HEIGHTS, the dam of Michael Owen's multiple Group-winning stayer Brown Panther, has died after suffering a ruptured uterine ligament.
Breaking the news on Twitter, Owen wrote: "Such sad news. Treble Heights, mother of Brown Panther, died this morning aged 15. She was carrying a foal by Nathaniel. RIP my darling."
Treble Heights - named so after Liverpool FC won the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup in 2000-2001 - was one of the first horses purchased by the former England star and became his best early runner, finishing second in the Group 3 Park Hill Stakes in 2002 before landing the Listed Aphrodite Stakes the following season.
Retired to stud in 2004, the daughter of Unfuwain made her first visit to Pivotal, producing Holoko Heights, a winner both on the Flat and over jumps. A return trip to Pivotal the following year resulted in winning hurdler Paddy Partridge, but it was a cover to Shirocco - a match that produced top stayer Brown Panther - which would put Owen's star mare on the map.
With 22 starts to date and still going strong as he bids to defend his Goodwood Cup crown this week, the Tom Dascombe-trained Brown Panther has taken Owen from Southwell to Flemington, with a Melbourne Cup tilt last year adding more than £80,000 to his prize-money haul when eighth of 24. Other highlights on his cv include victories in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes and Henry II Stakes, a St Leger second and Irish St Leger third.
Sold for 135,000gns as a yearling, Treble Heights hailed from the family of Cheveley Park Stakes winner Pasty. Her dam Height Of Passion, by Shirley Heights, produced eight winners from 13 runners and 16 foals including Ascot Gold Cup third Warm Feeling and Gran Criterium runner-up Precede.
Treble Heights was boarded by Owen at Mickley Stud in Shropshire. Stud owner Richard Kent said on Monday: "Treble Heights always produced outstanding, good-looking foals, but they were always very big, so perhaps that took its toll."
Treble Heights was barren to New Approach after a visit in 2012, and slipped a foal to Shirocco the following year, but delivered Cocker, a brother to Brown Panther who is also in training with Dascombe, in 2012.