French jumps sire Astarabad dies at 22

Whisper: son of Astarabad won the Dipper Novices' Chase at Cheltenham

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker ( Smart French jumps sire Astarabad dies at 22 By Martin Stevens 7:00PM 5 JAN 2017

ASTARABAD, a French sire who was in good form over the festive period, died last month. The son of Alleged was 22.

A mainstay of Haras de la Croix Sonnet for many years, he was in retirement and had not sired any foals since 2014.

Astarabad is the sire of Whisper, who struck in the Grade 2 Dipper Novices' Chase on New Year's Day, and Missy Tata, who scored in the Listed Irish Independent Hurdle at Limerick four days before that.

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Astarabad will be best remembered for his son Questarabad, a prolific winner at Auteuil whose resume included the Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil and back-to-back renewals of the Grand Prix d'Automne.

He is also the sire of Champion Bumper hero Cheltenian; Imperial Cup and Fred Winter Juvenile Novices' Hurdle winner Gaspara; and Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle dead-heater Jolly's Cracked It.

His best runner according to Racing Post Ratings is Traffic Fluide, saddled by Gary Moore to finish third in the Maghull Novices' Chase and Clarence House Chase.

Astarabad also features as the damsire of useful hurdling mare Lifeboat Mona.

Astarabad was bred by the Aga Khan out of the Listed-winning Darshaan mare Anaza, making him a half-brother to Asmara, the Listed-winning dam of champion Azamour.

He was originally trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre and finished third to Peintre Celebre in the Prix du Jockey Club and won the Group 3 Prix Andre Babouin at three.

At four he won the Group 2 Prix d'Harcourt before defeating Que Belle and Taipan to win the Prix Ganay. He also finished second to Loup Sauvage in the Prix d'Ispahan.

He finished his racing career trained by Julio Canani in America.

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