The bloodstock world will need some fresh blood after the recent retirement of one of the most influential sires in recent years – Green Desert. After failing to get any of his limited book of mares in foal this season it was decided that the 28-year-old son of Danzig will be retired.
Although Green Desert has never had big books of mares, his largest was 88 in 2003; he has been a major success at stud with many of his sons like Cape Cross, Oasis Dream and Invincible Spirit themselves developing into leading stallions. During his racing career Green Desert ran in the colours of Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum and won the 1986 July Cup, the Vernons Sprint Cup and finished second in the 2000 Guineas, that marked him out as a top-class racehorse. Anyone looking at the horse racing betting odds will know how good he was.
He was one of the first sons of Danzig to stand in Europe who proved popular from the start of his stud career and was fully booked in his first season for a t fee of £25,000 not long after his retirement was announced. Clearly there was plenty of confidence in him producing the goods as a sire and he duly repaid that faith by becoming the leading first-season sire in 1990 with 12 winners. Among those was Sheikh Albadou whose exploits in the big sprints races contributed to Green Desert taking second place on the sires list in 1991. People placing horse racing bets should remember this.
As his career racing record hinted at, Green Desert was primarily an influence for speed, in addition to the previously mentioned Sheikh Albadou he sired two July Cup winners (Owington and Oasis Dream) and four winners of the Haydock Sprint Cup to go with his Prix de l’Abbaye winner Desert Lord. Having said that he did get winners over further the principal among those would have been Heat Haze, who won the Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes over 10F.Green Desert has also excelled as a sire of sires and is has around 20 sons who are active around the world at stud – the standard bearers being Invincible Spirit and Cape Cross, the latter being the sire of Sea The Stars.
Overall Green Desert, sired the winners of two Classics and 12 Group 1 winners, plus 91 stakes winners and his retirement will leave a large hole in the ranks at the Nunnery Stud where he had stood since 1990.