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Hever Golf Rose dies after surgery.

HEVER GOLF ROSE, the globe-trotting sprinter who won 17 races in five different countries before being retired last year, has died.

The eight-year-old mare, who was in foal to 2,000 Guineas winner Entrepreneur, failed to come round after surgery on one of her front joints in Newmarket.

The first person to pay tribute was Epsom trainer Joe Naughton, who guided the daughter of Efisio through a 66-race career during which she earned more than pounds 671,000 in prize-money after her breeder Ronald Popely bought her back as a yearling for just 6,000gns at Doncaster's St Leger Sale.

Naughton said yesterday: "She was a one-off. It is really tragic and I just hope that she didn't suffer. She didn't owe anybody anything and was a real star.

"What makes the news even more upsetting is that it comes just a couple of days before the Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye, which provided her with the biggest win of her career in 1995."

That was an unforgettable year for members of the Hever Racing Club, whose colours Hever Golf Rose carried, as she numbered six Group races among her eight wins, the best record of any horse in training in Europe.

Popely was too upset to comment last night, but he has a Danehill colt, delivered in March, to remember her by at his stud in Kent.

Naughton added: "For Hever Golf Rose to have her last win-in a Listed race at Taby in June, 1998-when in foal was brilliant. After she finished a bit sore in that year's King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, it was decided to retire her.

"We all thought she would have many years ahead of her, breeding racehorses that would inherit her bravery, determination and speed, but sadly that has not been the case."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Greene, Graham (English writer)
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 1, 1999
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