A phenomenal chapter for Cheveley Park Stud and British bloodstock has come to a close with the death of the stud's great sire Pivotal at the age of 28.
After a short but very sweet racing career in which he won four of his six starts, including the Nunthorpe Stakes (G1)—becoming the first top-flight winner to be both bred and owned by Cheveley Park—and then-group 2 King's Stand Stakes, he was to stand for 24 consecutive seasons at Cheveley Park in Newmarket, becoming one of the most influential stallions of the modern era.
The son of Polar Falcon took up stallion duties in 1997 at a fee of £6,000. He was immediately popular with commercial breeders, becoming a leading British-based first-season sire, and soon had his first British group 1 winner, Kyllachy, appropriately in the Nunthorpe.
Pivotal rose through the stallion ranks and was leading British-based sire by individual winners on no fewer than eight occasions, and was twice crowned leading British-based sire by earnings.
Pivotal has sired 32 individual top-flight winners, including Classic winners Sariska, Halfway To Heaven, Falco, Buzzword, Saoire, and Dubai World Cup (G1) winner African Story, QIPCO Champion Stakes (G1) and Lockinge Stakes (G1) winner Farhh, Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1) winner Siyouni, top-class filly Immortal Verse and last year's QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes (G1) scorer Glen Shiel and Champion Stakes victor Addeybb.
He has also proved an outstanding broodmare sire, being crowned champion European broodmare sire from 2017 to 2019, with his daughters producing 26 individual group 1 winners, including Tenebrism in this season’s Cheveley Park Stakes (G1), Magical, Veracious, Cracksman, Love, and Advertise.
The chestnut has also made an impact as a sire of sires, with seven of his sons siring group 1 winners, notably the aforementioned pair Siyouni, who has already produced St Mark's Basilica and Sottsass, and Farhh, responsible for Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Sponsored by QIPCO (G1) hero King of Change.
He was retired from stud duties after the 2020 breeding season and remained at Cheveley Park.
Chris Richardson, the stud's managing director, said on Friday: "The story associated with the mighty Pivotal is truly extraordinary, considering he was the result of the very first covering by his sire Polar Falcon. Thankfully, as a yearling, it was decided to retain him to race, rather than offer him for sale, as we did with the other yearling colts by Polar Falcon that year.
"While in the hands of trainer Sir Mark Prescott, Pivotal truly put Cheveley Park Stud on the map, giving owners David and Patricia Thompson their first group 1 winner in the stud's famous red, white, and blue colors."
He continued: "Having covered a relatively small book of mares in his first year, his resulting progeny excelled and inspired at all levels, which they have continued to do throughout his career, both domestically and internationally.
"On the world stage, Pivotal has excelled as a sire, a sire of sires, and as a broodmare sire, to the highest level and all of us at Cheveley Park Stud have been so blessed to have been part of his life for 28 years."