Gentilhombre (2 April 1973 – 1 January 1992) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. As a two-year-old he won four races and finished third in the Group TwoLaurent Perrier Champagne Stakes. In the following year he was mainly campaigned at sprint distances and established himself as one of the fastest three-year-olds in Europe with wins in the Cork and Orrery Stakes and Prix de l’Abbaye. He was even better as a four-year-old, when he was rated the best sprinter in Europe after winning the July Cup (on the disqualification of Marinsky), the Diadem Stakes and a second Prix de l’Abbaye (in course record time). After two unsuccessful runs in 1978 he was retired from racing having won nine of his twenty-four races. He stood as a breeding stallion in Europe and Japan but had limited success as a sire of winners.
Gentilhombre was a chestnut horse with a narrow white blaze and a white sock on his left hind leg bred in the United Kingdom by Mrs M Simpson. He was probably the best horse sired by No Mercy, a sprinter whose best win came in the Prix de Meautry. His dam, Kirisana won one minor race over thirteen furlongs from six starts. Kirisana’s breeding was somewhat unusual: her dam Tolosana was very difficult to get in foal and was covered without result by Darius in 1965. She was then allowed to run loose in a field with an obscure stallion named Kribi (runner-up in the Cesarewitch Handicap) and successfully conceived. As Tolosana had already been mated with Darius, Kirisana was officially described as being by “Darius or Kribi” but there was no doubt that the mare (foaled on 24 July 1966) was sired by Kribi.
Gentilhombre was sold for 2,000 guineas as a foal, but made only 1,000 guineas when offered for sale as a yearling. The colt was sent into training with Neil Adam a Veterinary physician who had just begun his second career as a trainer at Racecourse Farm near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. Adam went on to establish himself as an expert trainer of speed horses, becoming known as the “King of the Sprinters” before being forced to retire due to the effects multiple sclerosis in the early 1980s.