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Delegator dies in his paddock

Delegator, who ran Sea The Stars close in the 2,000 Guineas and has made an extremely promising start to his stallion career, has died. The ten-year-old was found dead in his paddock at Overbury Stud on Thursday evening, victim of an apparent heart attack.

The son of Dansili was a fine racehorse, initially for his breeder, Poilin Good, and later for Godolphin. Trained initially by Brian Meehan, he won the G3 Craven Stakes in such fine style that he started favourite for the 2009 2,000 Guineas – an especially hotly contested running, with Rip van Winkle, Mastercraftsman, Lord Shanakill and Delegator's future roster mate at Overbury, Cityscape, all involved. The race, of course, fell to the great Sea The Stars, with Delegator bravely sticking to his heels. Transferred to Godolphin, Delegator went on win the G2 Duke Of York Stakes on his first start at a sprint, and also finished first in the G2 Celebration Mile before being disqualified on a technicality.
 
Retired to Overbury Stud as the highest rated sprinter or miler by Dansili, his first juveniles have been racing in 2016. Nazik, his first runner, was a winner in early May, since when a total of eight of his first crop have been successful. They are led by Brian Smart's undefeated G3 Firth Of Clyde winner Delectation, who is a live outsider for the 1,000 Guineas next spring., and also include Accidental Agent, winner of the £150,000 Tattersalls October Auction Stakes, and Graphite Storm, Clive Cox's winner of a competitive Newbury nursery that has previously thrown up Group winners. The day before Delegator died, Son Of The Stars won impressively at Kempton on his debut for Richard Hannon. He is one of eight runners rated 80 or higher, representing an impressive 27% of his first crop runners – at the same stage in his stallion career Dansili was on 22%. This early promise had resulted in strong sales for his offspring, with third-crop foals averaging seven times the fee they were conceived for at Tattersalls in November.
 
Paying tribute, Simon Sweeting, manager of Overbury Stud, said, 'Delegator was a horse with a lovely manner and a delight to have around. He's made a wonderful start and we all had very high hopes for his future. I'm especially sorry for Dan Matty, who has looked after him since he arrived here in the autumn of 2012, all the many mare-owners who have booked to him for next spring and the team at Darley and Godolphin – I am deeply indebted to them for entrusting Delegator's stallion career to us. If his stock progress as well from two to three as he did, he'll be a sizeable loss to British breeders too.'