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Owner Lady Rothschild passes away

Lady Rothschild, who enjoyed significant and sustained success as an owner and breeder at the highest levels of Flat racing, has died aged 84.

Born on April 28, 1934, Serena Dunn was the sister of playwright Nell Dunn and the daughter of Sir Philip Dunn, owner of 1960 Stewards' Cup winner Monet.

Racing was always a significant influence in Lady Rothschild's life, with her Canadian grandfather, Sir James Dunn, marrying Marcia Christoforides, who later became Lady Beaverbrook. This meant Rothschild was the step-granddaughter of the owner of Bustino and Boldboy.

Rothschild enjoyed several big-race wins, with her best horsebeing Nathaniel, winner of the 2011 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and 2012 Coral-Eclipse.

Named after her son, Nathaniel finished second to Frankel on his debut at Newmarket and went on to win four of his 11 starts, also including the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

John Gosden trained Nathaniel, and also saddled his younger sister Great Heavens to win the 2012 Irish Oaks for Lady Rothschild.

Gosden said: "Lady Rothschild was passionate and very knowledgeable about her horses. It was a great pleasure to train Nathaniel and his younger sister to win a King George and a Classic, and to see them at stud continuing her legacy."

Nathaniel is making a success of his stallion career, siring dual Arc heroine Enable, and stands for £25,000 at Newsells Park Stud, who bought intohim before hisfour-year-old campaign.

Julian Dollar,general manager for Newsells Park Stud, said: "This is very sad news and we offer our deepest condolences to Lady Rothschild's family and friends. Our partnership with Nathaniel and Lady Rothschild gave all of us at Newsells Park Stud some truly memorable days.

"Lady Rothschild was passionate about her breeding and racing and she enjoyed every moment of Nathaniel's success, both on the racecourse and subsequently at stud. To breed horses of the calibre of Nathaniel and his sister Great Heavens is quite an achievement for any breeder, the industry will miss her."

Lady Rothschild also had a Breeders' Cup winner in 2009 with Juvenile Turf victor Pounced, while her Thistle Bird was a prolific winner for Roger Charlton.

Thistle Bird signed off her career with a maiden Group 1 success in the 2014 Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

Off the track, Lady Rothschild owned and ran Waddesdon Stud in Aylesbury. She famously paid a then world-record 4.6 million guineas for broodmare Magical Romance at Tattersalls in November 2006.

Charlton paid tribute to Lady Rothschild, saying: "She was a very special person who'll be hugely missed by everyone at Beckhampton.

"She was aregular visitor to the yard to see the horses working on the downs,and spent time looking around the horses at evening stables.

"She was without doubt every trainer's dream owner; understanding, enthusiastic, patient and always encouraging when the situation was needed. Her Waddesdon stud bred a lot of very decent horses which provided her with moments of anguish, together with her share of successes and fun.

"She especially enjoyed Baron Ferdinand winning the Scottish Classic at Ayr in 1995, Mince being crowned championthree-year-old sprinter in 2012 having broken two course records, and Thistle Bird, who was the winner of eight races includingthe Pretty Polly in 2014 on her final start."

What proved to beher final winner came for Charlton at Wolverhamptonin November, when Great Bear made a winning debut in a 1m½f novice event.

14 January 2019

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