Rosemont’s flags will be lowered to half mast and a fitting tribute will stand at the front of the office entrance to honour Danehill’s first ever stakes winner, Danzero, who passed away peacefully on the weekend. He was 28.
Danzero holds a special place in the history of the thoroughbred being the first stakes-winner and G1 winner sired by the late great Danehill and went on to successful stud career himself.
A resident of Rosemont since his purchase from Arrowfield in 2011, he covered three seasons before fertility issues saw him retired from duties. But Rosemont principal Anthony Mithen says the striking stallion will hold a special place in the hearts of those at Rosemont.
“He was the first stallion to stand at Rosemont and was in fact the only stallion to stand at our original farm at Ceres.” Mithen said.
“He helped set in motion the stallion business for us and ultimately the purchase of Rosemont Gnarwarre from Tony Santic which is now home to our five-strong stallion roster.”
Danzero was a Golden Slipper hero in 1994 for the Freedman Brothers after being sold to a syndicate at the Magic Millions sale in 1993 by Arrowfield Stud.
“There is no doubt he is one of the finest stallions we have produced.” Arrowfield’s John Messara said when he relocated to Rosemont. “He was bred by us, sold by us, bought back by us and was Danehill’s first Group One winner.”
Danzero’s six G1 winners are headed by Dance Hero who won 4xG1s – 3 at 2 – including the Golden Slipper giving Danzero the rare mantle of winning Australia’s greatest 2yo race and siring a winner of the world’s richest 2yo event as well.
“It is fair too say he changed the course of what we do at Rosemont. We had an itch to scratch and try the stallion game and he got us off the mark. While his fertility let him down, the horse didn’t disappoint us,” Mithen said.
“It was an honour to have him on the farm and he was revered by all that got to lean over his fence and give him a pat. He helped teach us the stallion game
and was a true gentleman.”
Mithen was comforted by the fact that it appeared he went quickly some time Sunday morning, enjoying the domain of the paddock named in his honour.
“He has been in the best health for the nine years he’s been with us. He refused to be boxed at night. We built him his own box before he arrived, only to learn he hated being cooped up and just wanted to spend his days and nights outside – rugged and roaming! I think he spent only three nights in that box ever!”
“Our longest serving employee Suzanne Mowat who has looked after him for the best part of a decade found him Sunday morning, resting peacefully. He will now be buried just outside his paddock. May he rest easy.”
Danzero sired 1042 runners for 669 individual winners, 68 stakes horses, 40 stakes winners including G1 winners Dance Hero, Niconero, Fairway, Danglissa, Danni Martine and Jymcarew. He is also the dam sire of 31 stakes winners and 5 G1 winners headed by emerging stallion Exosphere.