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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 January 2021

Leading horse owner-breeder Prince Khalid Abdullah dies

Saudi Arabian prince died at the age of 83

Prince Khalid Abdullah. PA
Prince Khalid Abdullah. PA

Saudi Prince Khalid bin Abdullah, a legend in the horse-racing industry, has died aged 83.

Prince Khalid owned and bred some of the greatest equine names the sport has seen, with his famous green, pink and white silks carried by the likes of Frankel, Dancing Brave and dual Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Enable.

His colours were carried to victory by more than 500 Stakes winners, of which he bred more than 440, including 118 Group or Grade One winners, of which he bred 102.

"The whole of Juddmonte feels a huge sense of loss," said Douglas Erskine Crum, chief executive of the prince's horse-racing enterprise.

"Prince Khalid will always be remembered as a quiet, dignified, benevolent family man, whose horses spoke for him.

"He leaves a legacy that will stand the test of time. His contribution to the development of the thoroughbred will have long-lasting effects."

Prince Khalid had his first winner more than 40 years ago, before going on to huge success, winning each of the five British Classics several times, including three Derby successes with Quest For Fame (1990), Commander In Chief (1993) and Workforce (2010).

He also won the Arc six times and was crowned champion owner in Britain three times.

Teddy Grimthorpe took over as Prince Khalid's racing manager in 1999, with his tenure encompassing the Frankel and Enable days in particular.

"I am very sad," Mr Grimthorpe said. "He was a monumental man for the world."

Prince Khalid's multitude of winners also Kingman, Oasis Dream, Known Fact and Rainbow Quest.

His Juddmonte Farms breeding operations were at Banstead Manor Stud near Newmarket in Britain, and near Kentucky in the US.

Annamarie Phelps, chairwoman of the British Horseracing Authority, paid tribute to an "exceptional man".

"It's extremely sad to hear of the passing of Prince Khalid Abdullah," Ms Phelps said.

"His name and distinctive racing silks will forever be associated with some of the greatest horses and most unforgettable moments in the sport's history, from Dancing Brave to Frankel, Enable and many more.

"His Juddmonte breeding operation was a feather in British racing's cap for many years and those exceptional bloodlines, which will be enjoyed for generations to come, are a priceless gift to our sport from an exceptional man.

"He will be sadly missed by the racing world."

Lady Jane Cecil, whose late husband Sir Henry Cecil trained the mighty Frankel, said she owed Prince Khalid "so much".

"When Teddy Grimthorpe rang to tell me, I was so sad at the news. Prince Khalid was kind and a gentleman and I just owe him so much," she told Sky Sports Racing.

"The loyalty he gave Henry, I can't tell you how important that was, especially during those quiet years and then his belief in Henry to send him Frankel.

"I'll always be grateful that Henry had him to train in his final years. Henry and Prince Khalid did have a special friendship that meant a great deal to Henry.

"Obviously he was his trainer, but they did have lunch together in London. They were different but they got on very well."

When Cecil died in 2013, his wife took over the reins at the Warren Place stables in Newmarket, Suffolk.

Prince Khalid kept Frankel's brother Noble Mission in training there and was rewarded with an emotional victory in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot in 2014.

"He was so loyal. Imagine allowing me to train Noble Mission. He's Frankel's full brother," Lady Cecil said.

"Allowing me to do that, being loyal and supportive, which was an extension of his loyalty to Henry.

"Warren Place had that fantastic day at Royal Ascot that will live with me forever."

Updated: January 14, 2021 06:21 PM

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