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Popular Boldboy put down at 28.

BOLDBOY, one of the best-and best-loved-geldings ever to race on the Flat, has been put down at the age of 28.

Purchased as a yearling by the late Dowager Lady Beaverbrook for 13,000gns, Boldboy raced for eight seasons, winning 14 of his 45 starts.

Also placed 20 times, he earned pounds 131,073, a record for a gel0ding in the British Isles until it was surpassed by Bedtime a decade later.

Boldboy showed abundant ability-fourth in the Middle Park Stakes-and definite signs of temperament as a two-year-old, most conspicuously when refusing to enter his stall for an intended start at Newbury.

At home he was "very, very difficult", trainer Dick Hern recalled, and the decision to geld him was inevitable.

Castration robbed Boldboy of the chance to compete in many races then restricted to entire colts, but it cured his waywardness and enabled him to pursue a long career characterised by notable honesty and consistency among the best sprinter-milers of his era.

The surest proof of his consistent merit and durability came in the annual Timeform ratings he achieved from the ages of three to nine. He was rated 126 at three, six and seven, 125 at four, 124 at eight and 122 at five. In his final season, when he raced only twice, his rating was 112.

Eight of his victories came in Pattern events-the Group 3 Greenham, Prix de la Porte Maillot, Diadem, Challenge (twice) and Duke of York, and the Group 2 Lockinge and Haydock Park Sprint.

He won the Abernant Stakes (Listed), at Newmarket's Craven meeting, on four occasions.

Although he sometimes sweated up and once or twice showed that he retained a bit of `character' at the start of his races, the way he competed-with tremendous enthusiasm and determination-ensured him the admiration and affection of the racing public.

Dick Hern inevitably has many fond memories of his old stalwart.

He mused yesterday on "a wonderfully versatile horse, top class over six furlongs and a mile, a very good doer, and one of the soundest who ever came my way. I never remember his being lame in all the time I had him."

Boldboy was naturally also a great favourite of his owner, who made special provision for his happy and comfortable retirement, both in her own lifetime and by the terms of her will.

He spent 19 years at Warren Stud, near Newmarket, with 1978 Ebor winner Totowah as paddock companion, and retained excellent health until his sudden deterioration last week.

The box Lady Beaverbrook had built especially for him at Warren was adorned with the record of the races he won, an affectionate and appropriate tribute normally accorded only to stallions.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Morris, Tony
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 11, 1998
Words:448
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