FOLLOWING a short illness, Juddmonte announced on Wednesday that Dansili (Danehill) had died at his birthplace, Banstead Manor Stud, just days before his 26th birthday.
Bred by Juddmonte Farms, he was the first foal out of the listed winner Hasili (Kahyasi) who went on to become a Blue Hen of considerable note as the dam of six consecutive graded stakes winners, including five individual Group or Grade 1 winners – Intercontinental (Danehill), Cacique (Danehill), Heat Haze (Green Desert), Champs Elysees (Danehill) and Banks Hill (Danehill).
Dansili may not have won a Group 1, but he made up for this by becoming one of the leading British-based sires and broodmare sires of his generation.
Trained in France by André Fabre, he won his only race as a two-year-old and his seasonal debut at three, making him one of the favourites for the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains-French 2000 Guineas. Fifteen went to post, one of the biggest fields in the race’s history, and Dansili found only Sendawar too good.
He ran four more times that season, winning the Group 3 Prix Messidor and running third in the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois won by Dubai Millennium and the Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp. Dansili returned for a four-year-old season in which he won both the Group 2 Prix du Muguet and Group 3 Prix Edmond Blanc, while he finished second to the Giant’s Causeway in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood and third to War Chant in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile, beaten a neck and a nose in the latter.
Dansili then returned to Banstead Manor Stud to start a new chapter as a stallion. He went on to sire 22 Group or Grade 1 winners, starting at a fee of £8,000 and rising to a peak of £100,000, thanks to the exploits of some outstanding horses such as Flintshire, Harbinger, Rail Link, Proviso, Queen’s Trust, Dank and The Fugue. He was champion sire in France in 2006.
He has gone on to become a hugely successful broodmare sire of the likes of multiple Grade 1 and Breeders’ Cup winner Uni, dual Group 1 winning sprint star Dream Of Dreams, Nezwaah, Irish Oaks heroine Chicquita, Time Test and Banstead Manor stallion Expert Eye.
Dansili was pensioned from stud duties in 2018 at the age of 22. His influence will undoubtedly be felt at Juddmonte for many years to come, through his daughters in the broodmare band and through his son Bated Breath.
General manager Simon Mockridge said this week: “As a racehorse he was durable, genuine, consistent and expertly handled by André Fabre throughout his career. Although he deserved a Group 1 victory on the racecourse, having been placed in six, that feat somehow always managed to evade him.
“During his 17 years at stud he played an intrinsic role alongside Oasis Dream in establishing the reputation of the Juddmonte roster. A truly wonderful, reliable, and uncomplicated character as a stallion, he was a firm favourite of the stallion team and Juddmonte as a whole. He will be greatly missed.”