Sadler’s Wells died yesterday evening, aged 30.
The remarkable sire passed away from natural causes at his home at Coolmore, in Co Tipperary, where he had resided since retiring to stud in 1984.
Sadler’s Wells’ offspring include champions Galileo, Montjeu, High Chaparral and Yeats.
Coolmore manager Christy Grassick said: “We all feel privileged to have been involved with such a special horse.
“His influence looks set to continue for many years to come.”
The son of Northern Dancer was trained by Vincent O’Brien, for whom he won the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, the Irish 2000 Guineas, the Eclipse and the Irish Champion Stakes as a three-year-old.
Owned by Robert Sangster, Sadler’s Wells was named champion sire in Great Britain and Ireland 14 times.
Grassick added: “He was undoubtedly the best sire Europe has ever seen and through his sons Galileo, Montjeu, High Chaparral and Yeats, along with grandsons Hurricane Run and Rip Van Winkle, he has left a wonderful legacy at Coolmore.”
Ben Sangster, son of the late Robert Sangster, said: “It’s the end of an era.
“It is the most phenomenal record for any horse to be champion sire 14 times - a record that is likely to remain unequalled.
“His legacy will live on through his sons and daughters and their sons and daughters.”
Foaled in the United States, Sadler’s Wells was also crowned champion sire in France three times, and once in North America.
He produced over 293 stakes winners and 74 individual Group One winners.
Coolmore announced on May 13, 2008, that Sadler’s Wells was retiring from breeding.
Legendary former jockey Pat Eddery, a regular partner of Sadler’s Wells in his racing career, added: “He was a hell of a good racehorse.
“I won the Eclipse and the Irish Champion Stakes on him, and also finished second in the King George.
“He was a very tough horse with a great pedigree.
“He probably was the best sire of them all.”