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Warning dies at the age of 15 in Japan.

Byline: David Ashforth

WARNING, one of the most celebrated milers of modern times, died of a heart attack yesterday at the age of 15. He had been standing at Shizunai Stud in Japan, where he was moved in 1996 after a reasonably successful career as a stallion at Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket.

Owned and bred by Khalid Abdullah, trained by Guy Harwood at Pulborough and ridden in all his major races by Pat Eddery, Warning made an impact matched by few other specialist milers.

His reputation preceded him to the racecourse, and the son of 2000 Guineas winner Known Fact and Oaks runner-up Slightly Dangerous -later dam of Commander In Chief, Deploy and Dushyantor-made an odds-on winning debut at Salisbury in May 1987. He went on to win the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood and Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in a fashion that made him winter favourite for the 2000 Guineas. He was also joint top, with subsequent 1000 Guineas winner Ravinella, in the International Classifications.

Warning was slow to find his form at three. After being beaten by Doyoun in the Craven Stakes, he missed the Guineas and did not race again until July, when he was transformed. He gained two splendid summer successes-in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood and, most memorably, in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot. Facing strong opposition from Salse, Persian Heights and Soviet Star, Warning won with contemptuous ease by five lengths.

Eddery, speaking yesterday, recalled that occasion and also Warning's trademark acceleration. "I didn't have to ride him in the Queen Elizabeth," said Eddery. "Anyone could have won on him-he sluiced up.

"He was a brilliant horse who gave me some wonderful times and a lot of pleasure. He had a great turn of foot; that was his thing. You held on to him and, no matter how fast they went, he could quicken up.

"He was a lovely little fellow, not very big but a gentleman, and we knew from an early stage he was special."

Harwood recalled: "Warning was a bit of a boy as a two-year-old but settled down and, like other great milers, when he accelerated he did it so fast you didn't see him quicken. He was an absolutely top miler and they were very happy times for us. When he beat Salse in the Queen Elizabeth, it was a very special performance."

Warning's 1988 season ended with disappointment in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs, where Europe's champion three-year-old miler, sent off favourite, was 11th behind Miesque, who had also beaten him in the Prix Jacques le Marois.

Kept in training as a four-year-old, Warning showed his best just once, when winning the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. He was retired after being injured when travelling to the US for another attempt at the Breeders' Cup.

Warning was retired to stud in 1990, and his pedigree, free of Northern Dancer, Mr Prospector, Never Bend and Sharpen Up, provided an outcross for many mares. He started well, for his first crop included 1993 Cheveley Park Stakes winner Prophecy and promoted Nunthorpe Stakes winner Piccolo, and his second included high-class milers Annus Mirabilis, Bishop Of Cashel, Charnwood Forest and Decorated Hero. Even so, there was a suspicion that he struggled to sire outstanding runners, and he was sold to Japan.

In the years since his export, his reputation has grown. The ill-fated Annus Mirabilis plus Decorated Hero improved their records, while Diktat established himself as a top-class sprinter-miler. Warning's prominent runners in 2000, besides Diktat, included Group 2 Princess of Wales's Stakes winner Little Rock and fellow Pattern winners Di Moi Oui and Danger Over.

Warning's stallion sons in Europe include Averti, Bishop Of Cashel, Charnwood Forest. Piccolo and the newly retired Diktat. He is yet to make a mark as a broodmare sire, although his oldest daughters are only nine.

Career of a brilliant miler

Foaled 1985

Breeding Known Fact-Slightly Dangerous

Owner Khalid Abdullah

Trainer Guy Harwood

Big wins

1987 P & OCL Richmond Stakes (Gp2), Goodwood (Pat Eddery)

Laurent-Perrier Champagne Stakes (Gp2), Doncaster (Pat Eddery)

1988 Swettenham Stud Sussex Stakes (Gp 1), Goodwood (Pat Eddery).

Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Gp 1), Ascot (Pat Eddery).

1989 Queen Anne Stakes (Gp 2), Royal Ascot (Pat Eddery).

Racing record 8 wins from 14 races.

Stud career Retired to Banstead Manor Stud in 1990. Sold to Japan Racing Association in 1996.

Notable progeny sired in Europe Annus Mirabilis, Charnwood Forest, Decorated Hero, Diktat, Piccolo, Prophecy.

CAPTION(S):

Warning, an outstanding miler for Khalid Abdullah and Guy Harwood and later a successful sire
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Dec 28, 2000
Words:763
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