ROBERT McCarthy has hailed Flemensfirth as the best stallion ever to stand at The Beeches Stud in Co Waterford, following the death of the former champion sire on Friday morning, aged 31.

Twice champion jumps stallion of Britain and Ireland, Flemensfirth is best known as the sire of the 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander and his progeny have been to the forefront of jumps racing and sales for almost 20 years. His best winners included Tidal Bay, Lostintranslation, Flemenstar, Waiting Patiently, Tornado Flyer and Magic Of Light.

He was retired from stud duties in 2020.

“He went out in the paddock every day and had a good retirement,” McCarthy said. “He was in great form up until the very end.”

Soft ground

By Alleged, Flemensfirth was trained by John Gosden for Sheikh Mohammed. He won as a two-year-old and showed a liking for soft ground when winning the Group 1 Prix Lupin at three. The ground was again on the soft side when he won the Group 2 Prix Dollar on two occasions, and he won a group race in Italy in between those French victories.

At stud his fee was as high as €15,000 in 2018 and he regularly covered over 200 mares in the 22 full seasons he stood at The Beeches.

McCarthy commented: “He was so fertile, he bred such good lookers, good sales horses, good racehorses, he ticked all the boxes. He was a good-looking horse himself and he stamped his stock.

“His very first runner, a two-year-old in France, was a winner, but it was the Cheltenham Festival Bumper winner Total Enjoyment who really put him on the map as a jumps stallion. Tidal Bay followed soon after that, and he also had a Royal Ascot winner in Jennies Jewel.”

McCarthy added: “I’d like to thank everyone who looked after Flemensfirth over the years - the vets, farriers, et cetera, and of course thanks to the Magnier family for entrusting us with his care.”

Flemensfirth’s final crop are three-year-olds and he has 14 representatives in the Derby Sale and 11 in the Arkle Sale.