The extraordinary life of Champion Alinghi ended early on Monday morning when she died foaling at Arrowfield Stud.
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of Arrowfield’s dedicated foaling team and vet Dr Sean Finan, neither the 16-year-old mare nor her foal by Not A Single Doubt could be saved.
Arrowfield Chairman John Messara says, “It’s a sad day for all of us, losing Alinghi and her foal, she was a magnificent racehorse and after more than eleven years with us at Arrowfield, very much part of all our lives.
“We’re immensely grateful for the joy she gave us, co-owners John Leaver & Alan Jones, her breeders, trainers, original owners and many others, and for her contribution as a broodmare.
“She has also left us five daughters, four of them already breeding for us, and a gorgeous yearling filly by Deep Impact we’ll now keep.”
Alinghi’s first foal Line Honours (by Hussonet) won in Sydney and has left Group-placed fillies Regatta Rebel and Extra Olives (both by Redoute’s Choice).
Her second daughter Lahana, also by Hussonet, is the dam of Adelaide winner Arleigh (by Smart Missile and visiting Maurice) and produced a Not a Single Doubt colt earlier this month.
City winner Defender (by Redoute’s Choice) has a yearling colt by Animal Kingdom and foals to Dundeel this Spring, and Dame Pattie (by Snitzel) has been served by Mikki Isle.
Alinghi’s only son, by Snitzel, made headlines at the 2015 Inglis Easter Sale where he was sold for $1.8 million to David Raphael. Named America, he has had three starts and is in training with Anthony Freedman.
Matching Alinghi’s superlative race record was always going to be a tall order for her progeny.
The imposing 16.2-hand daughter of Encosta de Lago and Oceanfast was bred by Piney Ridge & Edenkey Nominees and bought for $80,000 from the 2003 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale by syndicator Slade Bloodstock.
Named for the two-time America’s Cup-winning syndicate, Alinghi was trained in Australia by Lee Freedman for his own Markdel Racing Syndicate, Corinna Slade, the Real Deal Syndicate, Steve Saunderson, the Diamond Forehead Syndicate, Kathlee Syndicate, Alan Halse, Theo Menounnos, Karen Bytel and Clem Engelkamp.
Seventeen of Alinghi’s 18 starts were in black type company, and she won 11 and placed in five of them, earning $3.5 million. That record is even more impressive when her best performances are considered.
She won her first four starts at two including the MRC Blue Diamond S. G1 and was third in the fastest STC Golden Slipper G1, won by Dance Hero from Charge Forward with Fastnet Rock fourth.
Alinghi earned Champion 3YO Filly honours and a Timeform rating of 125 after winning the MRC 1000 Guineas G1, VRC Edward Manifold S. G2 and VRC Ascot Vale S. G2, besting Fastnet Rock in the VRC Newmarket H. G1 and Glamour Puss in the SAJC Robert Sangster S. G1.
She also placed in the MRC Invitation S. G1, VRC Empire Rose S. G1 and VRC Lightning S. G1, rounding out a program rarely contemplated, much less undertaken and completed with distinction by a 3YO filly.
A fourth in the 2005 AJC TJ Smith S. G1 was her only unplaced run in Australia, before her purchase by Arrowfield and an American campaign with US Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel. That began promisingly with a Grade 3 victory at Saratoga in August 2005 followed by an eighth in the Keeneland Turf Mile G1.
Soon afterwards a tendon injury ended Alinghi’s racing career and she returned to Arrowfield where she remained until her 2015 trip to Japan for her date with Champion Sire Deep Impact.
Alinghi will be buried in the Arrowfield cemetery alongside several distinguished former residents including Beneteau (out of Alinghi’s full sister Slice of Paradise), New Zealand Horse of the Year Tycoon Lil, champion sprinter Special, Champion Filly & blue hen mare Denise’s Joy, Lady Giselle (dam of Zabeel) and Singles Bar (dam of Not A Single Doubt).