Cape CrossTop-class racehorse and leading sire Cape Cross has been put down at the age of 23 following complications associated with old age, Darley has announced.

The Godolphin-owned entire won the 1998 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in 1999, but it is his exploits at stud for which he is best known.

Cape Cross sired Sea The Stars and Golden Horn, both of whom completed the Epsom Derby-Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe double as three-year-olds.

He is also the father of the brilliant racemare Ouija Board.

Cape Cross stood at Kildangan Stud in Ireland when performing stallion duties in the northern hemisphere, before being retired last year.

Joe Osborne, managing director of Godophin Ireland, told www.darleyeurope.com: "He has been an integral part of the Godolphin and Darley stories, and an integral part of Kildangan.

"He was our first major success as a stallion. He was Champion first-season sire, making an immediate impact, and went on to sire a collection of outstanding racehorses, who left their mark in some of the world's great races.

"As an individual, he was the boss. You did it his way. He very much ruled the roost."