Multiple Grade 1 winning champion and pensioned sire Forty Niner (Mr Prospector) has died due to old age. He was 35.
"We are truly saddened to lose him and are grateful for all the support from his fans over the years," said Shigeki Yusa, stallion affairs manager for Japan Bloodhorse Breeders Association.
Beginning his stallion career at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky in 1989 Forty Niner was leading first season sire in the US in 1992. He was sold in 1995 for US$10 million to the Japan Racing Association and took up stud duties at the Japan Bloodhorse Breeders' Association's Shizunai Stallion Station.
He has sired 56 stakes winners to date headed by six Grade 1 winners as well as eight Grade 2 winners including Distorted Humor.