Royal Academy, the last great horse trained by Dr Vincent O’Brien, has passed away aged 25 due to the infirmities of old age at Coolmore Australia.
The son of Nijinsky is perhaps most famous for landing the 1990 Breeder’s Cup mile for Vincent O’Brien and Lester Piggott, who came out of retirement to ride the horse after stable jockey John Reid was ruled out through injury.
As well as a top class racehorse, Royal Academy was a hugely successful sire. By Nijinsky, Royal Academy was out of Crimson Saint, a daughter of another successful stallion in Storm Cat.
At stud his four first-crop Group winners were headed by Oscar Schindler (Irish St Leger) and there was at least one Gr.1 winner in each of his first five Irish crops, thanks to the efforts of Ali-Royal (Sussex Stakes), Carmine Lake (Prix de l’Abbaye), Sleepytime (1,000 Guineas), Zalaiyka (French 1,000 Guineas), Val Royal (Breeders’ Cup Mile) and Lavery (Phoenix Stakes).
Speaking about the news Tom Magnier of Coolmore Australia said ” It’s very sad. Royal Academy has been a tremendous servant to Coolmore, wherever he’s been based. He spent the last five years of his life here, the last two years in retirement.
“Particular credit must go to our head stallion man Gerry Ryan, who looked after him with great care and attention. He has been wonderfully prolific, siring more than 160 Stakes winners and his progeny earnings are the equivalent of more than US$120,000,000.”
“He sired major winners over a wide range of distances, at all ages. I suspect, though, that his greatest legacy is the speed he passed on to the best of his Australian descendants – the brilliant Black Caviar is by one of his sons while champion sire-elect Fastnet Rock is out of one of his daughters.”