Deep Impact, multiple champion sire in Japan, has died at the age of 17.
Winner of 12 of his 14 starts on the track between December 2004 and December 2006, he was a prolific sire of more than 100 Group winners.
Among his progeny is Aidan O’Brien’s Saxon Warrior who won the 2000 Guineas last year.
Reports emerged from the Shadai Stallion Station in Japan on Tuesday morning that the 2005 Japanese Triple Crown winner was put down after suffering a fracture in his neck.
In a statement Shadai Stallion Station said: “We had been treating Deep Impact’s neck injury for some time and he underwent surgery on July 28.
“The operation was successful and was doing well after the operation. However, on the morning of July 29, he was unable to stand up and we had been giving him the maximum treatment possible.
“On the morning of July 30, we took an X-ray and found a fracture in his cervical spine. We decided that he did not have any chance of recovery. We are extremely shocked and in grief with the sudden turn of events.”
Yutaka Take, who rode him in all 14 of his races, told www.japanracing.jp: “I knew he was not in good shape, but I am disappointed to hear of the news. He is a very special horse in my life. I am just appreciative for all that he gave me.”
Deep Impact’s nine Grade One victories included the Japan Cup – in his penultimate race.
He was defeated just once on home soil, in the Grand Prix at Nakayama on Christmas Day 2005.
In October 2006, he travelled to Longchamp for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – in which he finished third but was later disqualified when a banned substance was found in a sample.