Australian blue hen Circles Of Gold dies at 25

Haradasun (right): son of Circles Of Gold wins at Royal Ascot

PICTURE: Martin Lynch Australian blue hen Circles Of Gold dies at 25

OUTSTANDING Australian broodmare Circles Of Gold died on Wednesday, just four days after her grandson Highland Reel romped to victory in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita.

The daughter of Marscay, who was 25, was a top-class performer on the track, trained in Sydney by Brian Smith for an ownership syndicate led by Frank Tagg.

Her finest hour came when she landed the Group 1 AJC Oaks at Randwick in 1995. She also won the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes and Coongy Handicap and finished second in the Group 1 Eat More Fruit 'n' Veg Stakes and Queensland Oaks.

Circles Of Gold excelled again when sent to paddocks, producing Elvstroem, a son of Danehill who won five Group 1s for Tagg including the Caulfield Cup and Dubai Duty Free.

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Elvstroem, whose progeny includes Group 1 Emirates Stakes winner Hucklebuck, stands at Haras de Petit Tellier in France.

Circles Of Gold later produced Haradasun to Fusaichi Pegasus, the colt winning the George Ryder Stakes and Doncaster Handicap in Australia before joining Aidan O'Brien in Ireland, for whom he won the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Lady Circles, the mare's daughter by Ascot Knight, has produced four black-type horses headed by Group 3 scorer Decircles, but it is another daughter, Hveger, who is doing most to uphold family honour.

Hveger, a 15-year-old daughter of Danehill, produced Group 1 Crown Victoria Oaks winner Valdemore to Encosta De Lago in Australia, and since being moved to Ireland has produced two stars by Galileo – Highland Reel and Idaho.

Highland Reel has developed into a top-class globetrotter, notching top-level victories in the Secretariat Stakes and Breeders' Cup Turf in the US, the Hong Kong Vase and this year's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

Idaho finished third in the Derby, second in the Irish Derby and won the Great Voltigeur Stakes this year.

Circles Of Gold resided at Segenhoe Stud in Australia and the operation's general manager Peter O'Brien said: "I had the true honour to have been associated with her for 21 of her 25 years and she truly was one of a kind .

"She was a beautifully quiet mare whose exploits through her daughters and granddaughters will continue on for many years to come and it is fitting that her grandson Highland Reel won at the Breeders' Cup at the weekend to highlight her lineage.

"She will be buried alongside her great mates and champions Parfore and Skating on top of a hill at Segenhoe and I would like to thank her owners Frank Tagg, Frank Meduri and Garry Moffit, who have spared no expense with her care long after she retired from breeding.

"She will be sorely missed by all at Segenhoe and everyone is acutely aware of the privilege it was to have been associated with her."

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