Beneficial with Knockhouse Stud owner Sean Kinsella
Leading jumps sire Beneficial dies at 23
BENEFICIAL, leading this year's National Hunt sire championship by progeny earnings, died suddenly at Knockhouse Stud in County Kilkenny on Saturday. The son of Top Ville was 23.
Despite his advancing years, Beneficial's death was a shock to the staff at Knockhouse, which has stood him for his entire stallion career. On the back of his best ever season he was expected to cover a large book this season and he had served 30 of those mares.
Beneficial was the only stallion to supply more than two winners at the Cheltenham Festival last month, with a tally of three - Benefficient, Salsify and Salubrious.
He was also in the limelight at Fairyhouse on Sunday, with a Graded double courtesy of Realt Mor and Mala Beach, and Call Rog landing a valuable handicap hurdle.
"Beneficial just dropped dead out of the blue - he had appeared to be in as good health as ever," Knockhouse Stud owner Sean Kinsella said. "He's a big loss to us and he's a big loss to the Irish breeding industry."
A half-brother to Melbourne Cup hero Jeune, Beneficial was bred by Sir Robin McAlpine and trained by Geoff Wragg. He won six of his 21 starts, including the Dee Stakes, King Edward VII Stakes and Scottish Classic.
Beneficial's first two double-figure crops yielded the high-class trio G V A Ireland, Petertheknot and Sweet Kiln. After the good first impression they made he regularly covered large triple-figure books.
Beneficial has sired in excess of 530 winners over jumps and his best progeny include Realt Mor's brother Realt Dubh, Cooldine, Monksland and Mount Benbulben.
Beneficial picked up as a rich source of National Hunt talent from where another Knockhouse Stud stallion, Roselier, left off. The farm now houses Millenary, Prince Flori, Subtle Power and Touch Of Land.