Derrinstown Stud stalwart Marju dies at 28
Marju: the son of Last Tycoon is a leading broodmare sire
PICTURE: Peter Mooney Derrinstown Stud stalwart Marju dies at 28 By Martin Stevens 3:19PM 11 OCT 2016
THE Irish stallion ranks have lost a grand servant with the death of Marju from natural causes at Derrinstown Stud in County Kildare.
The son of Last Tycoon, who had been pensioned from covering duty in 2011, was 28.
Bred by Pat O'Kelly out of the Artaius mare Flame Of Tara, a brilliant producer for her Kilcarn Stud, Marju came under the hammer as a yearling at Goffs in 1989, just days after his half-sister Salsabil had landed the Prix Marcel Boussac at two.
Salsabil's owner Hamdan Al Maktoum had to go to Ir440,000gns to secure the colt, but the outlay was justified when the older sibling went on to win the 1,000 Guineas, Oaks, Irish Derby and Prix Vermeille in the following season.
Marju was sent to John Dunlop and did not take long to show his brilliance, winning a York maiden by six lengths on his sole start at two.
A convincing victory in the Craven Stakes on his debut at three ensured he started a 6-4 favourite for the 2,000 Guineas but he made little impact behind the winner Mystiko.
Marju redeemed his reputation by finishing second to Generous in the Derby and then defeating subsequent Sussex Stakes hero Second Set to win the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Marju signed off his career with below-par efforts in the Eclipse and Champion Stakes before embarking on his second career at Derrinstown.
He proved an instant hit as a stallion, with Prix de Diane heroine Sil Sila and Prix Vermeille and Yorkshire Oaks winner My Emma emerging from his first crop.
He went on to supply superstars Soviet Song, a five-time Group 1 winner including when beating the colts in the Sussex Stakes; Viva Pataca, a prolific winner in Hong Kong whose haul included the Hong Kong Derby and two Audemars Piguet QEII Cups; and another household name in the former colony in Indigenous.
Marju is also the sire of other top-level winners Chinchon, Lightening Pearl, Bethrah and Marbye, while a stint shuttling to Australasia yielded Schweppes Oaks winner Marju Snip.
It is as a broodmare sire that Marju has made his presence felt most in recent years, though.
His daughters have produced this year's Group 1 winners Marsha and Ribchester, as well as Canford Cliffs, Marcel, Ribbons and Vedelago.
The Elite Racing Club enjoyed particular success with the stallion, having bred Soviet Song from him and Ribbons and this month's Prix de l'Abbaye winner Marsha from his daughters.
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