Champion miler Observatory dies at 22

Observatory: he possessed ‘a most wonderful nature and character’. Photo: Juddmonte

Observatory, dual G1 winner and champion European 3-year-old of 2000, has died at the age of 22, Juddmonte Farms have announced. 

A Juddmonte homebred, Observatory is best remembered on the track for his victory in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, where he ended the unbeaten run of Giant’ s Causeway. The son of Distant View also won the G3 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood and the G3 Jersey Stakes as Royal Ascot at three, as well as the G1 Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp at four. 

As a stallion, Observatory sired one of Juddmonte's most popular and enduring runners – the quadruple G1 winner Twice Over, who has gone on to find further fame as a stallion in South Africa. He will also be remembered as the broodmare sire of Fair Eva, Frankel's first Group winner, who was a daughter of the G1-winning sprinter African Rose.

Observatory has lived at Banstead Manor Stud for the past 18 years. Stud Director UK Simon Mockridge said, “Observatory possessed the most wonderful nature and character – he was an absolute delight to have around the stallion yard and, even in retirement, he played an integral role within the team.

“Our most enduring memory will be his stunning defeat of the ‘Iron Horse’ Giant’s Causeway in the QEII at Ascot, a memorable ride by Kevin Darley bringing him wide in the home straight for victory. He will be sorely missed by all at Juddmonte.”

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