Champion dies of colic
National Emblem, a wonderful racehorse and influential sire, has died of colic. He was 21 years old at the time of death.
Bred by the Koster Bros, National Emblem was purchased at the 1993 National Yearling Sales for R100 000. He was one of a vintage crop of runners, which included such stars as Special Preview, Teal, Counter Action and Bushmanland.
Trained by Charles Laird, the good looking National Emblem made a fast start to his racing career, winning three of his four starts at two. His biggest triumph came when winning the G2 Gosforth Park Juvenile (C&G).
He trained on well, and at three, landed such features as the G1 Bloodline Classic, G3 MEC Guineas and G3 Jubilee Handicap. National Emblem and Teal fought numerous battles which saw thrilling finishes in the Classic, SA Guineas, MEC Guineas and July Handicap.
National Emblem was named Champion Older Male at four, after he won the G1 Administrator’s Cup, with top-weight, and ran a fine fifth to London News in the Durban July Handicap.
After winning the G1 Champion Stakes, National Emblem was retired to stud, but later returned to the racetrack to win both the G2 Keith Hepburn Champion Stakes and G2 Chairman’s Stakes.
A versatile champion, National Emblem won from 1150 to 2000 metres, and defeated many of the best horses of his generation. His 15 wins netted him over R1.9 million in prize money.
Retired to stud, National Emblem proved a fine sire. To date, his progeny include over 50 black type performers, and ten G1 winners.
His son, champion sprinter Rebel King, has made a promising start to his stud career, and is represented in the Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes on Met day by Letas Bonnet.
Other notables sired by National Emblem include the Gr1 winners Nhlavini, Rip Curl, Carnadore, Emblem of Liberty, Shea Shea and Potent Power. The latter has been exported to Hong Kong and is currently in the care of Tony Cruz.
National Emblem was a true champion and won’t soon be forgotten by any of his numerous fans.