About Montjeu the blog, the horse, the sire

1.About Montjeu the blog (the reason for this blog):

I’m interested in bloodstock.  Montjeu.com seemed a good choice of domain name as it is short and it was available- just like a midget at a disco. I loved Montjeu as a horse and I liked him as a stallion. He was quirky, brilliant and independently minded and you can see where I’m going with this…

I don’t have any involvement with Coolmore apart from owning a baseball cap promoting Giant’s Causeway, that they gave to somebody, who gave it to somebody else from whom I borrowed it five years ago.  My involvement with Sheikh Mohammed involves putting petrol in my car. I’ve no commercial involvement with the bloodstock industry so I can write what I like about the stallions, studs and industry types without worrying about advertising or other commercial consequences. That said if you want to employ me as a pedigree analyst or commission a few articles from me then you should know that my integrity has a price and I’m sure you’ll find it very affordable. You can contact me at victor@montjeu.com .


2. About Montjeu the horse

Montjeu’s Racing Career:

The bare stats of Montjeu’s racing career are impressive. Over three seasons he ran 16 times,won 11 times including 6 Group Ones. Amongst his haul were an Irish Derby, French Derby, Prix de l’Arc and King George. He was very impressive in the Irish and French Derbies and he showed real guts to win the Arc having to make up a lot of ground on El Condor Pasa in heavy ground. At four he seemed better than ever and he was imperious in the King George winning in a canter. Alas his form then tapered off with defeats when bidding for a second Arc and behind Kalinisi in both the Champion stakes and Breeders Cup turf. He achieved a timeform rating of 137.   His full racing career is as follows:

04Nov00 Chu 12Fm  G1,786K 9-0 7/13 4½L, Kalanisi[32/10F] 9-0  M J Kinane
14Oct00 Nmk 10GS Cl1 G1,232K 9-2 2/15 ½L, Kalanisi[10/11F] 9-2  M J Kinane
01Oct00 Lon 12Gd  G1,576K 9-5 4/10 7L, Sinndar[4/5F] 8-11  M J Kinane

10Sep00 Lon 12Gd  G2,38K 9-2 1/4 1½L, Crillon[1/10J] 9-2  M J Kinane
29Jul00 Asc 12GF Cl1 G1,435K 9-7 1/7 1¾L, Fantastic Light[1/3F] 9-7  M J Kinane
02Jul00 Sai 12Gd  G1,115K 9-8 1/4 5L, Daring Miss[1/5J] 9-5  C Asmussen
28May00 Cur 11Gd/Y  G1,50K 9-0 1/5 1½L, Greek Dance[1/3F] 9-0  M J Kinane
28Nov99 Tok 12Fm  G1,1071K 8-9 4/15 2¼L, Special Week[17/10F] 9-0  M J Kinane
03Oct99 Lon 12Hy  G1,538K 8-11 1/14 ½L, El Condor Pasa[6/4C] 9-5  M J Kinane

12Sep99 Lon 12Gd  3yG2,43K 9-2 1/4 hd, Bienamado[1/10F] 9-2  M J Kinane
27Jun99 Cur 12Gd  3yG1,393K 9-0 1/10 5L, Daliapour[13/8F] 9-0  C Asmussen
06Jun99 Cha 12Sft  3yG1,269K 9-2 1/8 4L, Nowhere To Exit[7/5J] 9-2  C Asmussen
16May99 Lon 11Gd  3yG1,53K 9-2 2/5 1L, Gracioso[1/10J] 9-2  C Asmussen

25Apr99 Lon 11H  3yG2,32K 9-2 1/7 1L, Sendawar[6/4J] 9-2  C Asmussen
18Oct98 Lon 9Hy  2yL,14K 8-11 1/3 ¾L, Spadoun 8-11  C Asmussen
18Sep98 Cha 8Gd  2y,8K 8-8 1/10 1½L, Camikaril 8-7  C Asmussen

If you want to remind yourself of what a great racehorse he was watch this video of his King George victory which was reminiscent of Nijinsky’s victory over Blakeney in the same race 30 years before

3. About Montjeu the Sire

At the time of his retirement to stud there was still many to be convinced about the merits of Sadler’s Wells as a sire of sires.  Montjeu along with Galileo have ended that debate. Montjeu’s first crop got off to a great start with Motivator winning the Racing Post Trophy. At three things were even better with a one-two at Epsom courtesy of Motivator and Walk in the Park and a one-two in the Irish Derby with Hurricane Run and Scorpion. Interestingly Hurricane Runs career was almost a mirror image of Montjeu’s as he also won an Arc at three and Tattersalls Gold Cup and King George at four before his form tailed off.  Scorpion added another classic in the St Leger and won the Grand Prix de Paris in record time.

The Derby wins have kept coming for Montjeu, with Authorized triumphing at Epsom in 2007 and Frozen Fire at the Curragh in 2008. In 2009 Fame & Glory gave Montjeu his third success in the Irish Derby. In another coincidence, the careers of Authorized and Motivator were almost identical with each having seven runs and each winning a Racing Post Trophy, Dante and Derby, each finished second in the Eclipse and each finished their careers by running unplaced in the Arc!

St Nicholas became his third Racing Post trophy when he won the 2009 running. Hopes were high that he could emulate the previous winners who went on to Epsom glory, but he picked up a slight injury when running 6th in the 2010 Guineas. He subsequently won three Coronation Cups and a Breeders Cup Turf before sadly succumbing to colic.

Montjeu sired the 2011 Derby winner in  Pour Moi, who sadly never raced after Epsom.  He then sired consecutive Derby winners with Camelot who having won the Racing Post Trophy followed up in the 2000 Guineas, the Derby and Irish Derby before narrowly failing in his Triple crown bid when coming second in the St Leger to Encke.

Montjeu also did a stint in New Zealand where initially the perception was that his results were modest. However given time that perception changed dramatically and his tally now stands at 5 Group one winners in Nom de Jeu, Tavistock, Roman Emperor, Wall Street and Sharvasti. He also sired a winner of the Melbourne Cup in Green Moon.

Many of Montjeu’s offspring improve with age and that was particularly pronounced in the Southern Hemisphere.   Although it is a relatively small sample it could be argued that there is a strong gender bias amongst Montjeu’s Group winners with his colts/geldings proving markedly superior to his fillies.

The big issue raised about Montjeu’s offspring is their temperament and some do seem less than straightforward.  Many of them run with their heads in the air and If you want a nice example of the best and the worst of the Montjeu’s watch Frozen Fire winning the Irish Derby and then consider that Alessandro Volta is another by Montjeu:).

Death and Legacy

Montjeu died in March 2012 at the age of 16.

He left behind a record equalling four Epsom Derby winners ( Motivator, Authorized, Camelot and Pour Moi) from only 11 full crops. In addition he sired four winners of the Irish Derby (Hurricane Run, Frozen Fire, Fame and Glory and Camelot), 3 St Leger winners  (Scorpion, Masked Marvel and Leading Light) and a Guineas winner in Camelot.  Just to show he wasn’t just a colts sire he got consecutive Irish Oaks winners in 2013 and 2014 with Chiquita and Bracelet. He sired a total of 1499 foals, 812 winners (54%) and 126 black type winners (8%).

He sired one of the greatest hurdlers of the modern era in Hurricane Run. Montjeu’s influence in the National Hunt sphere is considerable with many of his better sons being utilised as jumps sires. Authorized is the sire of the great Tiger Roll.

His legacy as a flat sire of sires is now largely dependent upon Camelot. He has sired an Irish Derby winner in Latrobe. Pour Moi sired an Epsom Derby winnner in Wings of Eagles but is now marketed as a National Hunt sire. Motivator is  based in France, and he sired the outstanding dual Arc winner Treve but his overall record is underwhelming.

Tavistock was becoming a significant sire in New Zealand but died at the age of 14 in 2019.

As a broodmare sire Montjeu is compiling a reasonable record. He is broodmare sire of Group 1 winners Parish Hall (by Teofilo so inbred to Sadler’s Wells), Obviously (by Choisir), Charm Spirit (by Invincible Spirit), classic winner Legatissimo (Danehill Dancer) and Journey (Dubawi). This list is sure to grow in the coming years

Montjeu’s Pedigree


1st DAM

FLORIPEDES, by Top Ville. 2 wins at 2400, 3000 m.Won Longchamp Prix de Lutece [G3]. 2nd Longchamp Prix Royal-Oak [G1].3rd Evry Prix de Pringy, Saint-Cloud Prix Feerie. Half-sister to DADARISSIME.Dam of 9 foals, 6 raced, 4 winners-

MONTJEU (1996 c by Sadler’s Wells). 11 wins. See above.

LE PAILLARD (1994 c by Sanglamore). 5 wins 1600 to2400 m. and $270,841. Won Lyon Parilly Prix Rene Bedel [L], Longchamp PrixAvenger, Chantilly Prix du Manoir Sans Souci, Chantilly Prix du Puits. 2nd SantaAnita San Juan Capistrano Invitational H. [G1]. 3rd Maisons-Laffitte Prixdu Val d’Enfer. 4th Maisons-Laffitte Prix Maurice de Nieuil [G2].

Le Fou (1999 c by Polish Precedent). 3 wins at 1600,2000 m. Won Longchamp Prix de Champerret, Longchamp Prix de l’Axe Majeur. 2nd ChantillyPrix La Force [G3]. 3rd Deauville Prix de Reux [L].

Cuixmala (1991 f by Highest Honor). Unraced. Dam of 2 winners–

MONT ROCHER (c by Caerleon). 11 wins 9 3/4 to 15 1/2f. and $554,367. Won Toulouse Prix Max Sicard [L], Toulouse Grand Prix duSud-Ouest [L], Toulouse Grand Prix du Sud-Ouest [L], Goodwood FoundationS. [L]. 2nd Lyon Parilly Prix Andre Baboin [G3], Deauville Prix deReux [L], Bordeaux la Teste de Buch Grand Prix du Sud-Ouest [L]. 3rdDeauville Grand Prix de Deauville [G2], Chantilly Grand Prix de Chantilly[G2].

Yayo (g by Petit Loup). 4 wins 2000 to 2500 m. 2ndToulouse Grand Prix du Sud-Ouest [L].

2nd DAM

TOUTE CY, by Tennyson. Placed. Sister to LE MAMAMOUCHI.Half-sister to DEAR DOCTOR, GENEREUX GENIE. Dam of 7 foals, 6 raced,4 winners-

DADARISSIME (c by Highest Honor). 6 wins 1800 to 3100m. and $289,994. Won Longchamp Prix Vicomtesse Vigier [G2], Longchamp Prixde Lutece [G3], Saint-Cloud Prix de Barbeville [G3], Deauville Prixde Reux [L], Longchamp Prix de Courcelles [L], Evry Prix de Montaigu.4th Longchamp Prix Noailles [G2].

FLORIPEDES (f by Top Ville). 2 wins. See above.

MELANIE DES ARTS. 3 wins 1600 to 2100 m. and $84,309.Won Longchamp Prix de l’Ete, Deauville Prix d’Etretat, Evry Prix de la Marche. 2ndEvry Prix de Rochefort. 3rd Longchamp Prix de Vivienne, Saint-Cloud Prix de Saint-Esteve,Saint-Cloud Prix de Buc.

GOLD PEBLE. 1 win at 2100 m. Won Evry Prix de Nogent.3rd Longchamp Prix Palace Hotel Madrid.

Jabali. Started twice in France. Dam of 5 winners inc.–

GRAND LILI. 1 win at 2400 m. Won Longchamp Prix deBeaugrenelle.

3rd DAM

ADELE TOUMIGNON, by Zeddaan. 1 win Half-sister to Acacio d’Aguilar.Dam of 7 foals, 7 raced, 5 winners-

DEAR DOCTOR (c by Crystal Glitters). 8 wins 2000 to2400 m. and $6,793,474. Won Arlington Arlington Million [G1], Saint-CloudPrix Jean de Chaudenay [G2], Saint-Cloud Prix Jean de Chaudenay [G2],Sandown Gordon Richards S. [G3], Gelsenkirchen Grosser Preis der GelsenkirchenerWirtschaft [G3], Longchamp Prix de Saint-Patrick [RL], Maisons-LaffittePrix le Fabuleux [L]. 2nd Belmont Turf Classic Invitational S [G1],Belmont Man o’ War S, Belmont Man o’ War S [G1], Longchamp Prix d’Harcourt[G2].

LE MAMAMOUCHI (c by Tennyson). 1 win at 3000 m. WonChantilly Prix Berteux [G3]. 2nd Saint-Cloud Prix Jean de Chaudenay [G2].3rd Longchamp Prix de Barbeville [G3].

GENEREUX GENIE (c by General Assembly). 4 wins 1800to 2500 m. and $188,128. Won Deauville Prix de Menneval [L], Deauville Prixde Reux [L], Longchamp Prix de la Butte Mortemart [L]. 2nd Evry GrandPrix d’Evry [G2], Longchamp Prix Dollar [G2], Bordeaux Prix AndreBaboin [G3]. 4th Deauville Grand Prix de Deauville Lancel [G2], LongchampPrix du Prince d’Orange [G3], Longchamp Prix Foy [G3], Saint-CloudPrix Altipan [L].

ALLEGRINE. 1 win at 1800 m. Won Roma Premio Sedan.3rd Roma Premio Rivisondoli. Dam of 3 winners inc.–

GOLDEN DEAR. 3 wins at 1400, 1500 m. at 2 and $55,484.Won Roma Maxim, Roma Sandown.

ALLEGRETE. 4 wins 2000 to 2700 m. and $166,669. WonSaint-Cloud Prix de la Croix Saint-Simon. 2nd Saint-Cloud Prix de la Pommeraie.

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