Dayjur, Horse of the Year and champion sprinter in 1990, was euthanised at Shadwell Farm in Kentucky on Wednesday at the age of 26.
The winner of seven of his 11 starts, all of which were in the hands of Willie Carson, including the Nunthorpe Stakes, Prix de l’Abbaye and Haydock Sprint Cup, Dayjur was trained in the UK for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum by Major Dick Hern.
By Danzig out of the Mr Prospector mare Gold Beauty, he cost $1.65 million as a yearling at Keeneland’s September Sale but rewarded his connections as soon as the following June when winning on debut at Newbury. Despite his major success on the racecourse, which also included victories in the Temple Stakes and King’s Stand at Royal Ascot (then a Group 2 contest), Dayjur gained notoriety in narrow defeat when losing out by just a neck to Safely Kept in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Belmont after famously jumping a shadow across the track in the home straight.
He retired to stud in America in 1991, standing at Shadwell Farm in Kentucky throughout his stud career. Among his best progeny are fellow Temple Stakes winner Tipsy Creek, Grade 1 Grande Premio Presidente da Republica hero Eyjur and French Group 3 winner With Fascintion. His influence has perhaps been greater as a broodmare sire, with his daughters being responsible for such as this season’s dual Group 3 winner What A Name, French Classic winner Confidential Lady, and Grade 1 winners Here Comes Ben, In Summation, Giant Ryan, Shadow Cast and Tizway.