Oaks heroine Bireme is put down aged 25.
BIREME, the 1980 Oaks winner whose short-lived racing career was ended by injury before she could fully realise her potential, has been put down at the age of 25, writes Graham Green.
The daughter of Grundy had the distinction of giving owner-breeder Dick Hollingsworth, who died last February, his only Classic success.
However, Dick Hern, who was aiming Bireme at the St Leger before her retirement, believes the filly's talent was never fully exploited.
Bireme was born and bred at Arches Hall Stud in Hertfordshire, where manager Steve Lindsay yesterday revealed she had been put down last Thursday because of old age.
She produced 12 foals, the best of whom was Yawl, winner of the Oh So Sharp Stakes and Rockfel Stakes. The last in the line, a three-year-old named Lakatoi, is in training with Barry Hills.
Bireme made a winning start as a juvenile by landing a 30-runner Newmarket maiden, but had gone in her coat on returning to the same course a few weeks later when beaten into third in the Houghton Stakes. She won the Musidora Stakes on her reappearance in 1980 before beating Vielle and The Dancer under Willie Carson at Epsom, but never raced again.
Hern said: "Bireme was a very, very good filly who never reached her potential because of injury."
Recalling the drama that precipitated her retirement, Hern said: "She got slight tendon trouble in the Oaks and was on the easy list when she got loose on the Downs.
"The lad fell off, got winded and couldn't get up in time to catch her because she stood looking at him. She then took off with her tail in the air and went for home as hard as she could leg it, right across the West Ilsley-East Ilsley road before she crashed in the lane. She cut and bruised herself so badly that she never ran again.
"She had bags of potential and nobody knows quite how good she could have been."