Canny Lad / Darley, Breednet, Racing NSW, Virtual Form Guide (p)

Canny Lad / Darley, Breednet, Racing NSW, Virtual Form Guide (p)

Bletchingly - Jesmond Lass

Darley Australia has confirmed that Champion racehorse and outstanding sire Canny Lad was put down yesterday morning at Woodlands Stud, his home for the past 23 years. He was 26.

Canny Lad was Champion Two-Year-Old of his year, winning six out of seven races at Stakes level, including the Golden Slipper and the VRC Sires Produce at Gr.1 level. His only defeat at two was to run second to Triscay in the Gr.1 Blue Diamond. He maintained his rating by winning the Gr.2 Bill Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley and running third in the Gr.1 Cox Plate as a three-year-old.

Canny Lad was retired to stud the following year and there followed a prolific career, which included ten Gr.1 winners, 54 Stakes winners and over $53 million in prizemoney earnings. He will also be remembered for his outstanding achievements as a broodmare sire with Champion stallion Redoute’s Choice and last weekend’s Stradbroke Handicap winner River Lad among eleven Gr.1 winners out of his daughters. Fertile to the end (he was retired from active service in 2011), Canny Lad was “the consummate professional”, according to Darley head stallion man at the time, Stuart McKay. “He taught a number of good stallion men their trade, because he was problem free and a machine in the shed”.

Canny Lad was one of the last representatives of the phenomenal Star Kingdom dynasty, being by the Champion Sire Bletchingly. He was bred by the Dodson family from Melbourne and hailed from the great Jesmond Lass dynasty - his sisters were the flying fillies Sister Canny and Canny Lass and, more recently, it is the family of Camarena, Camarilla, Sepoy and Guelph.

“Canny Lad and his relations have had a significant impact on Darley’s fortunes both on the racecourse and at our stud farms since Sheikh Mohammed purchased Woodlands in 2008,” said Darley Australia’s managing director Henry Plumptre.

“Obviously, winning the Slipper with Sepoy was a highlight, but the performance of Guelph last year was just as exciting for us and they were both crowned Champion Two-Year-Olds of their year - which is an extraordinary feat for one family within three years.”

Canny Lad saw out his last few years in his paddock at Woodlands, alongside another Champion Octagonal. He was a great favourite of everybody at Darley’s operations in the Hunter and will be buried at Woodlands.

Extracts from Darley Australia