The much-loved Group 1 winning sprinter and successful Victorian sire Strategic has succumbed to the infirmities of old age at Godolphin’s Woodlands Stud, where he was born almost 26 years ago.

“He was a wonderful old boy, he had a great nature, and was a real gentleman in the breeding shed,” Darley’s Victorian General Manager Andy Makiv said.

A homebred product of the Ingham family’s Woodlands Stud, the John Hawkes trained Strategic was one of the best racehorses of his generation.

Bursting onto the racing scene in the cerise silks with five consecutive wins as a two-year-old, among them the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes and the Group 3 Skyline Stakes. He would go on to also win the Group 1 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley.

The son of Zeditave began stud duties in the spring of 1996. In 2008, Darley purchased Woodlands including Strategic and his stallion barn mates. In 2009, Strategic was relocated to Darley’s Northwood Park near Seymour.

Throughout his eighteen years at stud, he covered on average more than 100 mares per season, an extraordinary recognition of his popularity with breeders.

He was the sire of more than 640 individual winners, including 29 stakes winners, three Australian Group 1 winners Platelet, Meurice and Mistegic while Strategic News was victorious at the top level in South Africa.

Strategic’s most recent stakes winners are Coronation Shallon and Tudor who were both sired out of Victoria’s Northwood. His final Victorian crop are now two-year-olds.

Strategic has also made a name for himself as a broodmare sire with his daughters producing high-class gallopers such as Holler, Le Romain and Griante.

“He had tremendous speed, precocity, and being a tough colonial bred sprinter he brings that Australian speed influence through his daughters,” Makiv said.

“We are thrilled to stand Holler at Northwood, who is out of a Strategic mare, to continue his great influence in both Victorian, Australian and international breeding,” Makiv said.

After retiring from stud duties in 2014, Strategic enjoyed his retirement at his birthplace – Woodlands in the Hunter Valley – alongside his old racetrack rival and stable mate Octagonal.

Strategic and Octagonal at Woodlands in October 2015

“He has had a wonderful life, and that’s what it is all about, for these Group 1 winning horses to go to stud and produce Group 1 winning horses, and then for them to live out their retirement on a beautiful farm,” Makiv said.

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