Opera House (horse)

Last updated
Opera House
Racing silks of Sheikh Mohammed.svg
Racing colours of Sheikh Mohammed
Sire Sadler's Wells
Grandsire Northern Dancer
Dam Colorspin
Damsire High Top
Sex Stallion
FoaledFebruary 24, 1988
DiedApril 20, 2016 [1]
CountryGreat Britain
Colour Bay
Breeder Meon Valley Stud
Owner Sheikh Mohammed
Trainer Michael Stoute
Record18: 8-4-3
Earnings £737,701 + F1,200,000
Major wins
Tattersalls Rogers Gold Cup (1992)
Brigadier Gerard Stakes (1992)
Cumberland Lodge Stakes (1992)
Coronation Cup (1993)
Eclipse Stakes (1993)
K. George VI & Q. Elizabeth Stakes (1993)
Awards
European Champion Older Horse (1993)

Opera House (February 24, 1988 – April 20, 2016) was a British thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a racing career which lasted from October 1990 until November 1993 he ran eighteen times and won eight races. Opera House was best known for his performances as a five-year-old in 1993, when he won three Group One races, including the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and was named European Champion Older Horse. Retired to stud in Japan, he developed into a top-class sire in the country, supplying seven-time Grade 1 hero T M Opera O, four-time Group 1 winner Meisho Samson and multiple Group scorer Miyabi Ranveli.

Contents

Background

Opera House, a bay horse with a white star, was bred by the Meon Valley Stud in Hampshire. [2] He was sired by Sadler's Wells, out of Colorspin, a daughter of High Top. [3] Sadler's Wells (1981–2011) won three Group One races in 1984 and went on to sire the winners of over 2,000 races including more than 130 at Group One/Grade I level. [4] He was the most successful sire in the history of British racing being the leading Leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland a record fourteen times. [5] Colorspin won the Irish Oaks and was a half-sister of the Prix de l'Opéra winner Bella Colora and the Irish Champion Stakes winner Cezanne. [6] Apart from Opera House, she also produced his full brother, the champion stayer Kayf Tara and the Prix de l'Opéra winner Zee Zee Top. [7]

Opera House raced in the colours of Sheikh Mohammed and was trained throughout his career by Michael Stoute at Newmarket, Suffolk. His most regular jockeys were Steve Cauthen and Michael Roberts.

Racing career

1990: two-year-old season

Opera House did not appear on a racecourse until the Autumn of 1990. At Leicester in October he started odds on for an eleven-runner maiden race and pulled clear in the closing stages to win by ten lengths. [8]

Shortly after the race, Opera House was exercising at Newmarket when he tripped and fell on a road. He sustained a fracture to his pastern which put his career in jeopardy and kept him of the course for eleven months. [9]

1991: three-year-old season

Opera House's three-year-old debut was delayed by his recuperation from injury and he did not race until September, when he won a three-runner race at Nottingham. [10] Three weeks later, he was beaten a neck by the future Prince of Wales's Stakes winner Perpendicular in a Listed race at Goodwood. On his final start of the year he was moved up to Group Three class for the St. Simon Stakes at Newbury. He led in the straight before fading in the final furlong and finishing fourth to Further Flight.

1992: four-year-old season

On his 1992 debut, Opera House put up his best performance to date. Although he was beaten in the Gordon Richards Stakes he looked unlucky in running and did well to finish third behind Dear Doctor (Arlington Million) and Red Bishop (Hong Kong Vase). He then recorded his first major win when getting up in the last stride [11] to beat Zoman (Washington, D.C. International) in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh. Ten days later he returned to England to win the Group Three Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown. [12]

Opera House lost his next three starts, beginning with a disappointing sixth place in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot. He was moved up to Group One level and performed with credit, finishing second to Kooyonga in the Eclipse Stakes and third to St Jovite in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

After a short break he returned to win his third important win of the season, staying on gamely to beat Red Bishop by one and a half lengths in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes [13] Previewing the race, one correspondent described Opera House as a "consistent slugger"- a brave and dependable horse, rather than a brilliant one. [14] Plans to send the horse to America for the Breeders' Cup Turf [15] did not come to fruition.

1993: five-year-old season

As a five-year-old, Opera House contested seven races, all of them at Group One level, and won three times. He was ridden in all but one of his races by Michael Roberts. On his debut he traveled to France for the first time for the Prix Ganay at Longchamp, where he led in the straight before being caught close home and narrowly beaten by Vert Amande.

At the Derby meeting at Epsom in June he recorded his first Group One win when getting up to win the Coronation Cup in a "blanket finish" [16] from Environment Friend and Apple Tree. [17] A month later he took the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, leading in the straight and holding off the late challenge of the Italian champion Misil by a short-head. [18] The beaten horses included the Breeders' Cup winners Barathea and Arcangues. Opera House was ridden at Sandown by Michael Kinane as Roberts chose to ride Barathea, who he felt would be better suited by the fast ground. [19] The Independent's correspondent described the performance as "commendable" whilst questioning the overall value of the form. [20] In the King George at Ascot, Opera House was made 8/1 third favourite in a strong field, [21] behind The Derby winner Commander in Chief and the 1992 European Horse of the Year User Friendly. Ridden by Michael Roberts, Opera House tracked the leaders before being moved into the lead two furlongs out and stayed on strongly to beat White Muzzle by one and a half lengths with Commander in Chief third. [22] After the race, Stoute praised the horse, saying "I hope for his sake they'll now give him some credit." [23]

On his next start Opera House was made evens favourite for the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. He took the lead in the straight but was caught inside the final furlong and beaten half a length by Muhtarram. In the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in October he took the lead in the straight and ran on under pressure after being headed to finish third, beaten a neck and half a length by Urban Sea and White Muzzle. Stoute offered no excuses, although he pointed out that the very soft ground might not have suited the horse. [24] On his final start he travelled to California for the Breeders' Cup Turf in which he finished sixth behind Kotashaan.

An invitation to run in the Japan Cup was declined, and Opera House was retired to stud by his new owners, the Japan Racing Association. [25]

Assessment, honors and awards

T M Opera O; Opera House's record-breaking son TM Opera O 123rd Tennosho.jpg
T M Opera O; Opera House's record-breaking son

Opera House was named European Champion Older Horse at the 1993 Cartier Racing Awards.

In the International Classification for 1993, Opera House was rated the best older horse in Europe with a figure of 129, one pound below the three-year-old champion Zafonic. [26]

Stud career

Opera House retired to the Shizunai Stallion Station in Japan, [27] where he died following a paddock accident during April 2016. [1] The stallion was retired from stud duties in 2013 after nineteen breeding seasons at Shizunai Stallion Station.

His progeny include the World's leading money earner [28] T M Opera O (Japan Cup, Arima Kinen, Tenno Sho), and Meisho Samson (Japanese Derby, Tenno Sho). [29]

Pedigree

Pedigree of Opera House, bay stallion 1988 [30]
Sire
Sadler's Wells (USA)
1981
Northern Dancer (CAN)
1961
Nearctic Nearco (ITY)
Lady Angela (GB)
Natalma (USA) Native Dancer
Almahmoud
Fairy Bridge (USA)
1975
Bold Reason Hail to Reason
Lalun
Special Forli (ARG)
Thong
Dam
Colorspin (FR)
1983
High Top (IRE)
1969
Derring-Do (GB) Darius
Sipsey Bridge
Camenae (GB) Vimy (FR)
Madrilene
Reprocolor (GB)
1976
Jimmy ReppinMidsummer Night (USA)
Sweet Molly (IRE)
Blue QueenMajority Blue (IRE)
Hill Queen (family 13-e) [31]

Related Research Articles

Commander in Chief (horse) British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Commander in Chief (1990–2007) was a British thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted just over three months in the spring and summer of 1993 he won five of his six races, most notably the Derby at Epsom and the Irish Derby at the Curragh. He was the first Derby winner since Morston in 1973 not to have raced as a two-year-old. Furthermore, the Racing Post had not even included him in their list of horses for the 1993 Ten-to-Follow on the flat competition. Commander in Chief was voted the 1993 Cartier Champion Three-year-old Colt.

Pilsudski (horse) Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Pilsudski is a retired Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire who was bred in Ireland, but trained in the United Kingdom during a racing career which lasted from 1994 to 1997. In a four-season career he progressed from winning modest handicap races to become regarded as one of the best racehorses in the world. He won eleven races in five different countries, six of them at Group One level. He also finished second in successive runnings of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Singspiel (horse) Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Singspiel was an Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for a series of wins in major international races in 1996 and 1997. In a racing career which lasted from September 1994 until August 1997 he won nine of his twenty races and finished second on eight occasions. After showing good, but unexceptional form in his first two seasons he emerged as a world class performer in 1996 when he won the Canadian International Stakes and Japan Cup and was named U.S. Champion Male Turf Horse. In the following season he added victories in the Dubai World Cup, Coronation Cup and International Stakes before his career was ended by injury. After his retirement from racing he had considerable success as a sire of winners before his death in 2010.

Fantastic Light American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Fantastic Light is a retired Thoroughbred racehorse and pensioned sire. He was foaled in the United States but was trained in England and Dubai during his racing career, which ran from August 1998 to his retirement following the Breeders' Cup Turf in October 2001. He raced in seven countries, winning Group One/Grade I races in five of them and was a dual winner of the Emirates World Series Racing Championship. He was named United States Champion Male Turf Horse, European Horse of the Year and European Champion Older Horse in 2001. He was also well known for his two races against the 2001 Epsom Derby winner Galileo. In August 2012 it was announced that he had been pensioned from stallion duty while in Japan and would return to Dalham Hall in England to live out his days as a pensioner.

Conduit (horse) Irish Thoroughbred racehorse

Conduit was a Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from August 2007 to November 2009 he won seven of his fifteen starts, including four at Group One/Grade I level.

Golan (horse) Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Golan is a retired Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire who was bred in Ireland, but trained in the United Kingdom throughout his racing career, which lasted from 2000 to 2002. He won the 2000 Guineas in 2001 and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes in 2002. He won the latter race after an eight-month absence from the racecourse.

Barathea (horse) Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Barathea was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. In a racing career which lasted from October 1992 until November 1993 he ran sixteen times and won five races. In 1994 Barathea won the Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs and was named European Horse of the Year at the Cartier Racing Awards. He went on to become a successful stallion.

Ezzoud Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Ezzoud, was a Thoroughbred racehorse bred in Ireland and trained in the United Kingdom during a racing career which lasted from 1991 to 1994. He is best known for winning consecutive runnings of the International Stakes at York.

Notnowcato was a thoroughbred racehorse and sire, bred and trained in the United Kingdom. He won several important races in a career which lasted from 2004 to 2007, and is best known for his victory in the 2007 Eclipse Stakes.

Grand Lodge was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. He was officially rated the best European two-year-old 1993. He won two Group One races; the Dewhurst Stakes in 1993 and the St James's Palace Stakes in 1994. He is best known as a successful sire. At the time of his death he was standing at the Woodlands Stud, Denman, New South Wales.

Tobougg Thoroughbred racehorse

Tobougg (1998–2018) was a thoroughbred racehorse and sire, who was bred in Ireland, but trained in England and Dubai during a racing career which lasted from 2000 to 2002. He was named European Champion Two-Year-Old Colt for 2000 at the Cartier Racing Awards. He was unbeaten in three starts in his championship season including two Group One races, the Prix de la Salamandre in France and the Dewhurst Stakes in England. He never won another race although he was placed in The Derby, the Champion Stakes and the Hong Kong Cup. He had some success as a breeding stallion and broodmare sire although he sired few major race winners.

Sayyedati was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. In a racing career which lasted from June 1992 to October 1995 she ran twenty-two times winning six races and being placed eight times. Sayyedati was one of the leading two-year-old fillies in Europe in 1992, recording Group One successes in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh and the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse. After being beaten on her three-year-old debut, Sayyedati won the Classic 1000 Guineas. She went on to become a successful international performer over a mile, winning the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in 1993 and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood as a five-year-old. She was also placed in several major races including the Breeders' Cup Mile. Sayyedati was retired from racing to become a broodmare at the end of her five-year-old season.

Doyoun British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Doyoun was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire, best known for winning the classic 2000 Guineas in 1988. In a racing career which lasted from October 1987 until October 1988 he ran seven times and won three races. After winning his only race as a two-year-old in 1987, Doyoun produced his most impressive performance on his three-year-old debut when he defeated Warning in the Craven Stakes. He won the 2000 Guineas on his next appearance but failed to win again, although he did finish third in The Derby. He was retired to stud at the end of the season, and after a slow start to his breeding career, sired several important winners including Daylami and Kalanisi. He died in Turkey in 2002.

Bigstone was an Irish-bred, French-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. As a three-year-old he became the only French-trained horse to win both of Britain's most important all-aged mile races, the Sussex Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Unraced as a two-year-old, Bigstone raced fourteen times, winning five times in a racing career which lasted from March 1993 until November 1994. After his successes in England in 1993 he added two more Group One races in France as a four-year-old, winning the Prix d'Ispahan and the Prix de la Forêt. He was then retired to stud where he had mixed success as a sire of winners.

Milligram was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare, best known for her win over Miesque and Sonic Lady in the 1987 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. In a racing career which lasted from September 1986 until November 1987 she ran nine times and won four races. Apart from the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, she won the Coronation Stakes and Waterford Crystal Mile, as well as finishing second in the Prix Marcel Boussac, 1000 Guineas and Irish 1,000 Guineas. She was the highest-rated horse in the United Kingdom over one mile in 1987. Milligram was retired at the end of her three-year-old season and had some success as a broodmare.

1993 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes

The 1993 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes was a horse race held at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday 24 July 1993. It was the 43rd running of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Distant View was an American-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He raced only as a three-year-old in 1994 when he won twice and finished second twice in seven races. In the spring of that year he was beaten on his debut but showed promise when finishing fifth in the 2000 Guineas and then won a minor race on his next start. After a narrow defeat in the St James's Palace Stakes he recorded his biggest win when defeating a strong field of milers in the Group One Sussex Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse. He was beaten in his next two races and was retired after being injured in 1995. He had considerable success as a breeding stallion before being retired from stud duty in 2006.

Owington British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Owington was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He showed very good form as a juvenile, winning the Moët & Chandon Rennen in Germany and finishing a close second in the Middle Park Stakes. In the following season he was one of the leading sprinters in Europe, recording victories in the Duke of York Stakes, Cork and Orrery Stakes and July Cup. He remained in training in 1995 and ran well without winning. He was retired to stud in 1996 but died later that year.

Colorspin was a French-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. She showed great promise as a two-year-old in 1985 when she won both of her races in convincing fashion. In the following year she finished third in the Musidora Stakes and fourth in The Oaks before recording her biggest success with an easy win in the Irish Oaks. She was beaten in her two remaining starts and was retired racing at the end of the year.

Cezanne was a British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse. Unraced as a two-year-old he showed modest form in 1992 and 1993, winning two minor races in England. After being transferred to race in Dubai he emerged as a top-class middle-distance performer as a five-year-old, taking the second and third rounds of the Al Maktoum Challenge before returning to Europe to win the Magnet Cup, Spreti-Rennen and Irish Champion Stakes. Following an unsuccessful campaign in 1996 he was retired to stud but proved to be infertile. After being gelded he competed in National Hunt races and won one minor race before being retired in 2001.

References

  1. 1 2 "オペラハウスが死亡" (in Japanese). netkeiba.com. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  2. "Meon Valley Stud". Meon Valley Stud. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  3. "Opera House pedigree". Racing Post. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  4. "Sadler's Wells Stud Record". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  5. "Leading Sires of Great Britain and Ireland". Tbheritage.com. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  6. "Death at 32 of broodmare superstar Reprocolor". 2008-08-11. Retrieved 2011-10-15 via The Free Library.
  7. "Colorspin Statistics" . Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-10-15.[ dead link ]
  8. "EBF Reference Point Maiden Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  9. "Unsung lad who rebuilt broken-down House". The Independent. 1993-12-15. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  10. "Bentinck Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  11. "Tattersalls Gold Cup result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  12. "Brigadier Gerard Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  13. "Cumberland Lodge Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  14. "Bonny outlook amid the rain". The Independent. 1992-09-24. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  15. "Rambo's return mission". The Independent. 1992-09-25. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  16. "Tenby flop still puzzles Cecil". The Independent. 1993-06-04. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  17. "Coronation Cup result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  18. "Eclipse Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  19. "Racing: Barathea is Eclipse choice for Roberts". The Independent. 1993-07-02. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  20. "Kinane is again the supersub". The Independent. 1993-07-04. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  21. "Roberts tops bill on Opera House". The Independent. 1993-07-25. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  22. "King George result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  23. "Opera in pursuit of an encore in Paris". The Independent. 1993-07-26. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  24. "Sea defence keeps the British challenge at bay". The Independent. 1993-10-04. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  25. "Invitation to Opera declined". The Independent. 1993-11-10. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  26. "Opera House, Zafonic and Grand Lodge head the Flat ratings". The Independent. 1994-01-13. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  27. "JBIS Japan Bloodstock Information System". Jbis.or.jp. Retrieved 2012-07-02.
  28. Maureen Farrell (2009-04-30). "The World's 10 Top-Earning Horses – No. 1 T.M. Opera O". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  29. "Opera House Stud Record". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  30. "Opera House pedigree". Equineline. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-07-02.
  31. "Rattlewings – Family 13-e". Bloodlines.net. Retrieved 2012-07-02.