Royal Academy wins that famous running of the Breeders' Cup MilePICTURE: David Cramphorn
Breeders' Cup legend Royal Academy dies at 25
ROYAL ACADEMY, famed for winning the 1990 Breeders' Cup Mile under an inspired ride from Lester Piggott, has diedaged 25.
The son of Nijinsky, who was trained by the great Vincent O'Brien, died of old age at Coolmore Australia.
"It's very sad," said Tom Magnier, who oversees the Coolmore Australia operation. "Royal Academy has been a tremendous servant to Coolmore, wherever he's been based. He spent the
last five years of his life here, the last two years in retirement.
Particular credit must go to our head stallion man Gerry Ryan, who looked after him with great care and attention. He has been wonderfully prolific, siring more than 160 Stakes winners and his progeny earnings are the equivalent of more than US$120,000,000."
"He sired major winners over a wide range of distances, at all ages. I suspect, though, that his greatest legacy is the speed he passed on to the best of his Australian descendants - the brilliant Black Caviar is by one of his sons while champion sire-elect Fastnet Rock isout of one of his daughters."
Royal Academy topped the 1988 Keeneland July Selected Yearling Sales when knocked down to O'Brien for $3,500,000. He was inevitably a very attractive proposition being by Nijinsky and out of Storm Cat's grandam Crimson Saint.
Royal Academy, who ran for Classic Thoroughbreds Plc, won four races. Although Nijinsky's progeny were best-known for their stamina Royal Academy had the speed to win the six-furlong JulyCup as a three-year-old. He then finished second to Dayjur in the Ladbrokes Sprint Cup before ending his career on a high when coming with a late charge up the Belmont Park straight to win the Breeders' Cup Mile.
The dual Group 1 winner started his stallion career at Coolmore in Ireland at a fee of IR30,000gns in 1991. His first-crop yielded four Group 1 winners, including the Irish St Leger winner Oscar Schindler. All of his first five Irish Crops resulted in at least one Group 1 winner, thanks to Ali-Royal (Sussex Stakes), Carmine Lake (Prix de l'Abbaye), Sleepytime (1,000 Guineas), Zalaiyka (French 1,000 Guineas), Val Royal (Breeders' Cup Mile) and Lavery (Phoenix Stakes).
Royal Academy also stood at Coomore's American base, producing multiple Grade 1 winner Bullish Luck. His Group 1 winners in Australia included Bel Esprit, sire of Black Caviar, Serious Speed and Kenwood Melody.
In 2007, his son Val Royal sired the dual 2,000 Guineas hero Cockney Rebel and he also established himself as a leading broodmare sire thanks to dual Guineas heroine Finsceal Beo. Dabirsim, last year's European champion two-year-old, is out of Rumored - another daughter of Royal Academy.