Flower put down
FOREST Flower, the champion two-year-old filly of 1986 who lost the Cheveley Park Stakes in controversial circumstances, was put down on Thursday at Betty Moran's Brushwood Farm in Pennsylvania. The daughter of Green Forest was 27 and had been living in retirement since 2002.
Trained by Ian Balding on behalf of Paul Mellon, the diminutive Forest Flower was successful in her first three starts at two, including the Queen Mary Stakes, then run as a Group 3, and Cherry Hinton Stakes, in which she narrowly defeated Edward Evans' Minstrella.
The pair met again in the Heinz 57 Stakes, with Forest Flower going down by a head to her rival after finishing strongly, and then in the Cheveley Park Stakes, where Balding's filly turned the tables to win by two-and-a-half lengths.
However, despite the authority of her victory, a lengthy enquiry was launched as the stewards looked into an incident when the Tony Ives-ridden filly had bumped Minstrella two furlongs out. Although the course stewards ruled in favour of Forest Flower, Minstrella's connections appealed against the decision and following a further enquiry at Portman Square, were awarded the race. Forest Flower was placed last; at the time, the rules stipulated that a horse should be disqualified if the interference was deemed intentional.
Forest Flower returned at three to assert her superiority over her old rival as well as that of the Newmarket 1,000 Guineas runner-up Milligram to take the Irish 1,000 Guineas.
Unfortunately, a virus at Kingsclere restricted her to just one more start and she was retired later that year as the winner of five of eight starts.
Forest Flower's first foal, the Listed-placed Shirley Heights colt Hill Of Dreams, proved to be the best of her seven winners. Her second foal, the Reference Point filly Hertford Castle, was unplaced but has since produced three stakes runners - Castilian, Safarando and Quiet Storm - while a later filly by Nashwan, Flower Arch, is the dam of the stakes-placed Japanese runner Best Of Me.
Forest Flower, who was out of the 1981 Oaks third Leap Lively and from the family of Grade 1 winner High Yield, was purchased by Moran for $671,000 in 1992. She is to be buried in the memorial garden at Bryn Clovis alongside other Brushwood stars Crème Fraiche, La Affirmed, I'm Sweets, and Flowing.