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Godolphin's Back Door Entry To Galileo's Realm

In the 16 years since he won the Epsom Derby Galileo has become by far the most influential stallion of his generation.

Godolphin's Back Door Entry To Galileo's Realm

In the 16 years since he won the Epsom Derby Galileo has become by far the most influential stallion of his generation.

His prodigious record means Galileo could soon overtake the 73 Group One wins by sons and daughters of his father, the 13-time champion Coolmore sire Sadler's Wells.

Galileo is already the sire of three Epsom Derby winners - New Approach (2008), Ruler Of The World (2013) and Australia (2014) - and four Epsom Oaks winners but they are just part of his success story.


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Churchill and Winter, this season’s winners of English and Irish 2000 and 1000 Guineas doubles, are also by Galileo.Add the likes of Frankel, Highland Reel and Minding and it’s easy to understand why 16 of his offspring fetched a combined total of £10.25 million when auctioned in Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in 2016.

Jimmy George of Tattersalls says there has never been a more popular sale ring sire than Galileo.

'We all thought Sadler's Wells was a stallion the like of which we were unlikely to see in the near future. He was an incredibly hard act to follow but Galileo is as influential, if not more so, than his amazing dad,” George said.

Galileo himself retired as the winner of six of his eight starts including the Epsom and Irish Derbys and King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes but pale beside his stud achievements that include:-

• Sire of more than 1250 winners of over 3200 races

• 64 individual G1 winners among 155 Group winners

• 8-time champion sire of the UK and Ireland and four-time leading 2YO sire.

In 2007 Galileo's stud fee was listed as €150,000. Since 2008 his fee has since remained 'private' but it is a fair bet the sum required to get an outside mare to the champion sire is a fair bit north of that figure.

Bookings will only be considered with mares considered worthy. His fertility remains high despite surgery for colic and his advancing years and his versatility has seen him instill enough speed in his progeny to make him a four-time champion two-year-old sire apart from his superior results as a classic sire.

His global influence is now dominant as he already has 10 sons at stud who have sired G1 winners.

Galileo is the modern day extension of the foundations laid in the 1960s by Ireland’s former champion trainer Vincent O'Brien with Coolmore Stud founder John Magnier and the late Robert Sangster when they decided to buy into the progeny of 1964 Kentucky Derby winner Northern Dancer.

It proved an inspired move as Northern Dancer was to become a foundation stone of the Coolmore empire. His sons included 1970 Derby and Triple Crown winner Nijinsky and Galileo’s champion sire Sadler's Wells.

Galileo's offspring have been the key to the overwhelming success enjoyed by Aidan O'Brien, the young trainer who too charge of the Ballydoyle stables from the unrelated Vincent O’Brien. He trains exclusively for Coolmore’s Magnier family and their partners headed by Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor.

O'Brien sings the praises of Galileo and the natural speed, stamina and fortitude of his progeny.

“Most horses, if you work them before they're fit enough, or when they're feeling any pain, they'll stop but Galileo's never question anything they are asked,” O'Brien said in a recent interview.

Sheikh Mohammed
Sheikh Mohammed Picture:Racing and Sports

The Coolmore syndicate doesn’t hold carte blanche over the entire Galileo breed but ensures his colts and fillies that make the sale ring are eagerly sought by big spending owners from all parts of the globe.

The exceptions are the members of Dubai's Maktoum family, the world’s biggest racehorse owners. They have boycotted Coolmore Stud stallions since 2005 after a well-publicised fall out over sale ring practices.

It is a decision that has seen the Maktoums pay a high price. The only Derby winner for the rulers Dubai since Lammtarra won for Sheikh Mohammed in 1995 came in 2008 when the Jim Bolger-trained New Approach was successful for his wife Princess Haya.

New Approach was bought by the Maktoums from Bolger and his wife Jackie. Not surprisingly New Approach is a son of Galileo and is now a successful Godolphin stallion along with Teofilo, another son of Galileo bought by Sheikh Mohammed from Bolger.

These backdoor purchases have given Sheik Mohammed access to the Galileo bloodline. He will add to that influence by buying progeny of Galileo’s peerless son Frankel.

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