Mark Of Esteem

Mark Of Esteem, pictured at Dalham Hall Stud in 2002

Bred by Sheikh Mohammed, Mark Of Esteem was foaled at Kildangan Stud in 1993. The flashy bay, named for his striking blaze, won the second of his two starts as a juvenile under the tutelage of the late Sir Henry Cecil, before transferring to Saeed bin Suroor at Godolphin.

Mark Of Esteem became Europe’s Champion Miler and three-year-old of 1996 after an outstanding year that saw him victorious in the 2,000 Guineas and Celebration Mile, before culminating in a scintillating performance in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, running down Bosra Sham. Mark Of Esteem earned a Timeform rating of 137, which was also the best Queen Elizabeth II rating of the1990s and a record he held until Frankel bettered it in 2011.

The son of Darshaan retired to stud in 1997 and enjoyed success at the highest level as a stallion, through his first-crop daughter Ameerat, who won the 1,000 Guineas in 2001, and his son Sir Percy who took the 2006 Epsom Derby in a pulsating finish. That season was a remarkable one for Mark Of Esteem – he also had the G1 Nunthorpe and Haydock Park Sprint Trophy winner Reverence.

Sir Percy, who won the Dewhurst Stakes in 2005

In his short stud career, Mark Of Esteem sired four G1 winners, and 11 G1 performers, and his name lives on in pedigrees of numerous top horses via his stallion sons Sir Percy and Redback (both of whom were also placed in the 2,000 Guineas) and his broodmare daughters: the St Leger winner Masked Marvel, the Irish Derby winner Treasure Beach, who was also beaten a head in Pour Moi's Derby, the speedy Amadeus Wolf, and the 2014 French 1,000 Guineas winner Avenir Certain are all out of mares by Mark Of Esteem.