Cheveley Park Stud has announced the passing of Pivotal, the sprint champion and sire of 32 Group 1 individual winners, at the age of 28.

Bred and ridden by Cheveley Park, the son of Polar Falcon had been the standard bearer of the stud since his retirement in 1997.

Under the care of Sir Mark Prescott, he broke the all-ages track record at Folkestone as a youngster and was crowned sprint champion at the age of three in 1996, winning the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes in York, after his victory in the King’s Stand Stakes (then a group two) at Royal Ascot.

Although his career on the track lasted only six races – raced in all but one by George Duffield – he went on to become one of the best sprinters in Europe, although his biggest influence was as a father, who initially commanded a stud fee of just £ 6,000.

Pivotal passed away peacefully in his paddock, and Chris Richardson, General Manager of Cheveley Park, paid him a heartfelt tribute.

He said: “It hasn’t been a great day. Pivotal was an icon in his own world and is a dear friend who gave David and Patricia Thompson and all of us at Cheveley Park Stud tremendous pleasure.

Pivotal was an icon in his own world and is a dear friend who gave David and Patricia Thompson and all of us immense pleasure at Cheveley Park Stud.

“From birth he was always a little superstar and we were very lucky to have him.

“Win the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot and go to York and earn the Nunthorpe, then retire and do what he did …

Pivotal immediately proved popular with commercial breeders and soon spawned their first UK Group 1 winner at Kyllachy, who emulated his father in Nunthorpe before also retiring to Cheveley Park.

Such was his commercial success, Pivotal was a British-based first-season stallion who proved his versatility, despite a production label who preferred easier terrain.

Darkness on the road to winning the Cheveley Park Stakes (Tim Goode / PA) (PA wire)

Richardson added, “He had this nickname of producing offspring that liked loose soil, and some of his early offspring liked a bit of giving in to the soil. Then we had people like Golden Apples (2002 Eclipse Award winner), who won the Del Mar Oaks in their first crop. He was quite versatile.

“Sir Mark put it on the map. He broke the all-ages track record at Folkestone and gave the Thompsons their first Group 1 victory under their Cheveley Park colors which was obviously very special to have a colt bred at home.

“He’s had a fantastic life, but it’s a sad day. They are all friends. It’s hard for everyone here. Stallion trainer John Rice looked after him all these years, day and night, and slept next to him. So it’s very difficult for everyone here. It’s like seeing someone for 20 years every day – they become very close friends. “

Pivotal has spawned classic winners such as Sariska, Halfway To Heaven, Falco, Buzzword and Saoire, as well as Dubai World Cup winner African Story and Qipco Champion Stakes hero Addeybb, and Richardson hopes his legacy will continue. for many years.

Crowned European Broodmare Champion from 2017 to 2019, his daughters have produced 26 individual Group 1 winners to date, including the back-to-back winner of the Champion Stakes Cracksman and most recently Tenebrism in this season’s Cheveley Park Stakes.

Saint Mark’s Basilica is a grandson of Pivotal (Nigel French / PA) (PA wire)

He also made an impact as a father of fathers, with seven of his sons having sired seven Group 1 winners, most notably Siyouni, who has already produced several Group 1 winners St Mark’s Basilica and the winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Sottsass triumph.

Richardson added: “On his last generation of foals we have two fillies and one foal, and on the last generation of 30 mares that he has covered in 2020 he has had 15 full.

“There are around ten foals born this year, whom we are impatiently awaiting to see perform. We are fortunate that around 75 percent of our brood mares have a Pivotal influence. “

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