Haafhd: earnied his sire Alhaarth a Classic victory in the 2,000 GuineasPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Group 1 sire Alhaarth retired from stud duties
FOUR days after Derrinstown Stud resident Alhaarth sired his fourth individual Group 1 winner, it was announced the 20-year-old son of Unfuwain would be retiring from covering duties with immediate effect.
A statement released by the stud read "[Alhaarth] has been suffering from an ongoing cardiac condition which has worsened recently, and it has been decided that it is not in the horse's best interests to continue covering. He will spend is retirement at Derrinstown".
Unbeaten as a juvenile for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, Alhaarth capped off his debut season with a two and a half length victory in Newmarket's Dewhurst Stakes, earning him the title of champion two-year-old in Europe.
Returning at three, he posted several placed efforts at the top level before again scoring in the autumn to win the Group 2 Prix du Rond-Point.
That run was to be his last for trainer Dick Hern, Alhaarth turning out in the famous Godolphin blue from the yard of Saeed bin Suroor for the 1997 season. Of his five starts that year, Alhaarth added a Group 2 second and Group 1 third to his tally, returning to the winner's enclosure once again in October when victorious in the Prix Dollar.
Standing his first season at Sheikh Hamdan's Derrinstown Stud for Ir7,000gns, Alhaarth was quick to make an impact, siring multiple Group winner Bandari in his first crop, with the globe-trotting three-time Group 1 scorer Phoenix Reach quick to follow in his second.
The following year, Alhaarth sired perhaps his best-known performer, 2,000 Guineas and Champion Stakes hero Haafhd. Out of the champion mare Al Bahathri, Haafhd is now a sire in his own right, serving a dual-purpose role at Beechwood Grange Stud.
As more crops arrived, Alhaarth gained a reputation for getting both useful juveniles and quality three-year-olds, with his progeny also proving versatile over their optimum trip. From his Royal Ascot-winning sprinter Dominica, a member of his first crop, through to last weekend's Group 1 scorer Mourayan - victorious in the 2m Sydney Cup - Alhaarth's progeny have consistently performed at the highest level.
Away from the track, Alhaarth proved a popular name in the sales ring, his yearlings regularly commanding six-figure sums. The 2005 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale proved the highlight of these, with two lots selling for 400,000gns, to renowned bloodstock agents Demi O'Byrne and John Ferguson.
From the family of Arc winner Solemia, Derby hero Authorized and legendary sire Green Desert, the loss of Alhaarth from the stallion ranks is a significant one.