Scarvagh stallion Helissio dies aged 20
HELISSIO, winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 1996, died at Scarvagh House Stud in Northern Ireland on Tuesday after suffering from a suspected heart attack. He was 20.
The operation also last week lost Exit To Nowhere, the Prix Jacques le Marois winner who sired high-class hurdler and chaser Noland.
A French-bred son of Fairy King, Helissio was trained by Elie Lellouche to win eight races, with five of those victories coming at the highest level.
At three, Helissio captured the Prix Lupin and Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud before scorching to a memorable five-length win in the Arc, beating Pilsudski, Oscar Schindler and Swain in the process.
He returned at four, adding the Prix Ganay and another win in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud to his Group 1 haul.
Retired after his four-year-old campaign, Helissio has stood all over the world, including Widden Stud in Australia and Shadai Farm in Japan, followed by stints at the National Sud, Larkinglass Farm and Park House Stud.
Helissio's best progeny include triple Australian Group 1 winner Helenus, Melbourne Cup runner-up Pop Rock and high-class handicapper Cosmic Sun.
Alfred Buller of Scarvagh House Stud said: "Over the last 20 years it has been a privilege to have some great horses in my care such as Generous, Helissio, Shaamit, Zaffaran, Deploy and many others.
"It is only when you care for them and look after them on a daily basis do you understand the quirkiness in their character that make these legends truly great amongst their contemporaries. I and the people at Scarvagh were very lucky to have got to know them"