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Galileo’s Year

It appears safe to say that 2016 is a year which will largely be remembered for the remarkable achievements of the world’s number one sire, Galileo, writes Sarah Whitelaw.

At the time of writing, Galileo has been represented by no fewer than 29 Group/Graded winners for 2016, with his offspring having landed a remarkable 45 Group/graded races in 2016.

The above figures apply to the Northern Hemisphere only.



Galileo, whose greatest son Frankel made a hugely impressive start to his stud career with his first 2yos in 2016, needless to say, was the world’s dominant source of Gr1 talent during the year that was.

Below is a list of some of the leading sires by individual Gr1 winners in 2016:

1 Galileo

The world’s number one sire was represented by 14 individual Gr1 winners during 2016, with the progeny of Galileo capturing a stunning 24 Gr1 races worldwide during the year. Arguably the highlight of the year for Galileo came when his offspring (Found, Highland Reel, Order Of St George) filled the first three sports in the Gr1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. (Highland Reel and Found would go on to run 1-3 in the Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Turf). Remarkably, the Arc was not the only time in 2016 that Galileo runners would fill the first three placings in a major races –with Minding, Ballydoyle, and Alice Springs running 1-2-3 in the Gr1 Qipco 1000 Guineas.

2 Deep Impact

Fast becoming as outstanding a sire as his sire Sunday Silence, former Japanese superstar Deep Impact had a remarkable year, even by his standards, in 2016. The champ was represented by 10 individual Gr1 winners during the year, with his international stars including Gr1 Dubai Turf hero Real Steel and the enigmatic Gr1 Prix d’Ispahan winner A Shin Hikari. Deep Impact also sired the first three home in the 2016 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) when his son Makahiki beat paternal half brothers Satono Diamond and Dee Majesty.



3 Tapit

North America’s dominant sire Tapit made it three US sires titles in a row, when smashing his own previous single season earnings record. He was one of three US sires to be represented by five individual Gr1 winners during 2016, with Tapit’s top progeny for the year including the Gr1 winners Creator, Frosted, Time And Motion and Gr1 Spinaway Stakes dead-heaters Sweet Loretta and Pretty City Dancer.

4 Dubawi

While destined to live in the shadow of Galileo, Dubawi has long been established as an outstanding sire in his own right. The former Irish 2000 Guineas winner (Dubawi beat the now Cape based sire Oratorio when scoring a two length win in that Irish classic of 2005) was represented by five individual Gr1 winners during 2016, with his son Postponed, who has earned more than €4 million in prize money thus far, picking up three Gr1 wins during the year.



5 Curlin

The former US champion has slowly but surely made a name for himself as an exceptional sire (Curlin will stand for a fee of $150 000 in 2017) and ranks as the second leading sire (by earnings) in the USA (according to BloodHorse statistics). Curlin’s five Gr1 winners in 2016 include outstanding filly Stellar Wind, Preakness Stakes hero Exaggerator and the very promising Gr1 Cigar Mile hero Connect. He is a young sire who looks destined for the very top.

6 Scat Daddy

The death of Scat Daddy in 2015 proved a huge loss for the breeding industry. A former champion sire in Chilean, Scat Daddy has a real break out year in 2016, with his Gr1 winners including such star 2yos as Caravaggio and Lady Aurelia, and US Gr1 winners Dacita, Harmonize and Celestine. Scat Daddy was siring 7% stakes winners to foals –well above the average for the breed- and one can only imagine what he may have achieved given a long stint at stud.

One can but hope that one of Scat Daddy’s sons can continue the legacy that their ill-fated sire began so promisingly.

7 Fastnet Rock

The former Australian champion sire has well established himself as a top class sire in both Hemispheres. Fastnet Rock (Danehill) had another year to remember in 2016, when represented by five individual G1 winners (Southern and Northern Hemispheres combined). His tally of Gr1 winners in 2016 included a pair of juvenile winners, with Intricately and Rivet landing the Gr1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and Gr1 Racing Post Trophy respectively. (Both are out of Galileo mares –and Galileo is also damsire of Fastnet Rock’s Gr1 Investec Oaks winner Qualify).

Captain Al

Captain Al (Al Mufti – Off To War)

8 Captain Al

Former champion sire Captain Al had a truly great year in 2016, when the former Cape Guineas winner had no fewer than five individual Gr1 winners to his credit.

SA’s eight times champion sire of 2yos enjoyed top level success with colts and fillies alike and in his Always In Charge (Gr1 Tsogo Sun Medallion) and William Longsword (Grand Parade Cape Guineas) has a pair of colts with potentially exciting stud careers ahead of them. Captain Al’s other Gr1 winners in 2016 were female, with Carry On Alice, Cloth Of Cloud and The Secret Is Out all winning Gr1 races.

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