The West Australian thoroughbred industry has been dealt on a blow on the eve of the Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale with the shock death of outstanding sire Scenic.
The son of Sadler's Wells suffered a massive heart attack while galloping in a paddock yesterday at his WA home of Durham Lodge.
Durham's Jeremy Smith said the stud as well as industry members in Perth gathering for the Belmont sales were "in shock."
"It all happened so suddenly," Smith said from Perth. "All of us over here are pretty much still in shock."
Scenic has been a great success since retiring to stud with stints at Collingrove Stud and Durham Lodge.
He's sired eight Group One winners - Blevic, Episode, Lochrae, Lord Essex, Piavonic, Scenic Peak, Shame and Universal Prince.
"Scenic was such a wonderful stallion," Smith reported. "He had a winner to runner percentage of about 70 per cent and he had the ability to sire a number of winners - including those at the highest level."
"He always finished high up on the Sires' table - always in the top bracket," he added. "He is a major loss to Durham Lodge and also to Western Australia."
The loss of Scenic was a major blow to Durham Lodge - a stud regarded as one of the best nurseries in Western Australia.
Last season Durham Lodge stood two sires - Scenic and Victoria Derby winner Blackfriars. Now the stallion roster is down to one until a fitting replacement for Scenic can be found.
"We won't be in any rush to find another stallion straight away," Smith said. "We don't want to just go and find any sort of stallion just so we can have another - he (the new stallion) will have to be carefully selected."
Adam Sangster, a director from Collingrove Stud - Scenic's former home, expressed his shock at the news.
"The team from Collingrove were saddened to hear of the untimely death of Scenic," Collingrove Stud's Adam Sangster said.
"Scenic was a wonderful stallion for Collingrove Stud during the seasons he stood with us and then later in his career at Durham Lodge," Sangster added. "Our thoughts are with Durham Lodge and in particular the Smith family."
"Let's hope that Blevic and Universal Prince carry through the success for Scenic in the future," Sangster said.
Durham Lodge, who will offer the only four Scenic yearlings at this week's Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale, are hoping Blackfriars can continue the bright start to his siring career.
"Blackfriars - who was a classy racehorse and winner of the Victoria Derby - has made a positive start," Smith noted. "His oldest are only two-year-olds and his only runner so far in city placed. We've had good reports back from a number of stables - so we're hoping he can kick on well."
The four yearlings for offer by Scenic are a three quarter brothers to Group One winners Lord Essex and Shame, and a full and three quarter sister to classy Group Two winner Market Price.