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Galileo – A Giant!

11 Gr1 winners - 17 top level races

The world’s premier stallion, Galileo enjoyed another magnificent year in 2019.

The evergreen 21 year old has been represented by an impressive 11 Gr1 winners, who have won 17 top level races between them this year.

His remarkably tough daughter, Magic Wand, became Galileo’s 84th individual Gr1 winner when she won the Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.

Magic Wand storms to victory (Pic – Coolmore)

Sarah Whitelaw writes that Galileo is now tied with Danehill as the sire of 84 Gr1 winners. The bay is set to claim his 11th British and Irish Champion Sire crown for 2019, which comes as no surprise given his remarkable dominance in Gr1 contests in the UK.

His progeny have won many of the world’s top races, yet again, this year, landing all of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Investec Derby, Irish St Leger, 1000 Guineas, Irish 1000 Guineas, Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris, Juddmonte International, Irish Champion Stakes, Champion Stakes, and St James’s Palace Stakes (to name a few) in 2019.



Galileo was responsible for the first three home in all of the Gr1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby,Gr1 Irish St Leger and Gr1 Qipco Irish Champion Stakes this year. Sovereign, a sixth Irish Derby winner for Galileo, beat home paternal half-brother, and Investec Derby winner, Anthony Van Dyck into second, with fellow Galileo colt, Norway (a half-brother to Cape sire, Duke Of Marmalade) taking third spot. Remarkably, Galileo can be found in the pedigrees of each of the eight runners to contest the 2019 Irish Derby.

The Coolmore legend also had the 1-2-3 finishers in the Gr1 Corner Group International Irish St Leger this year, where his 3yo daughter, Search For A Song, beat paternal half-brother, and former St Leger winner, Kew Gardens, into second, with Galileo four-year-old, Southern France, finishing third. Fourth home in the 2019 Irish St Leger, Melbourne Cup winner, Cross Counter. was sired by Galileo’s unbeaten son, Teofilo. His progeny Magical, Magic Wand and Anthony Van Dyck ran 1-2-3 in this year’s Irish Champion Stakes. Galileo had also been responsible for the first three home in all of the 2006 G1 Ladbrokes St Leger, 2016 Gr1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and 2014 Gr1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.

Galileo exerted similar dominance in the 2019 Gr1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe when his son, Waldgeist, beat Galileo’s granddaughter, Enable, into second place, with Sottsass (out of the Galileo sired star producer, Starlet’s Sister) back in third, ahead of Galileo’s dual Gr1 winning son, Japan, with Galileo’s four time Gr1 winning daughter, Magical – an own sister to Bush Hill Stud sire, Flying The Flag – back in fifth.

The dual Derby winner had an exceptional crop of three-year-olds, even by his remarkable standards, this year, with his star sophomores including multiple Gr1 winners, Circus Maximus, Hermosa, and Japan, as well as the aforementioned Derby winners, Anthony Van Dyck and Sovereign.

The United States (white blaze) in race action

Anthony Van Dyck is one of four English Derby winners for Galileo, whose daughter, Hermosa, a full-sister to Moutonshoek sire, The United States, gave her sire a third Gr1 1000 Guineas win in the last four years when she landed the Newmarket classic earlier in the year, Galileo’s daughters, Minding and Winter, winning the 1000 Guineas in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Galileo continues to enjoy great success when mated to daughters of Danehill and the latter’s sire sons – notably Danehill Dancer. Danehill is broodmare sire of no fewer than 15 Gr1 winners sired by Galileo, with that tally headed by unbeaten superstar, and increasingly dominant sire, Frankel. The other Gr1 winners bred on the Galileo/Danehill cross include top sire, Teofilo and the likes of Golden Lilac, Highland Reel, Cape Of Good Hope, Roderic O’Connor, Japan, Search For A Song, Deauville, Noble Mission, Tapestry, Romantica, Intello, Cima De Triomphe and Maybe – dam of Coolmore Stud’s dual G1 winning sire, Saxon Warrior.

Encouragingly, Galileo’s numerous sire sons and broodmare daughters also enjoyed consistent success at the highest level in 2019.

Sir Henry Cecil

The late Sir Henry Cecil with Frankel at Royal Ascot

Full brothers, Frankel and Noble Mission, both made their mark at the highest level, with Frankel responsible for five individual Gr1 winners this year, including British classic winners, Anapurna and Logician, with his own brother the sire of top US three-year-old, Code Of Honor. The latter, runner up in this year’s Kentucky Derby, has five wins to his name, including victories in both the Gr1 Travers Stakes and Gr1 Jockey Club Gold Cup in 2019.

Gleneagles, like Frankel, a 2000 Guineas winning son of Galileo, made a fine start with his first two-year-olds this year, including more than 20 winners –this tally includes the group winners Royal Lytham and Royal Dornoch as well as Windsor Castle Stakes winner Southern Hills.

Another promising sire son of Galileo, Cox Plate winner Adelaide was responsible for a Gr1 winner in his very first crop with his 3yo daughter, Funstar, landing the Gr1 Flight Stakes earlier this year, while Galileo’s Investec Derby winning son, Ruler Of The World, is the sire of multiple Gr1 winner, Iridessa, whose wins include a score in the recent Gr1 Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.


Galileo’s dual Derby winner, Australia, has been responsible for eight stakes winners this year thus far, including Gr1 William Hill St Leger runner up, Sir Ron Priestley, while Galileo’s Derby winner, New Approach, has a tally of six group winners, including promising two-year-olds, Military March and New York Girl.

Galileo mares have also enjoyed a big year, with daughters of the legend producing ten individual Gr1 winners (and counting) this year. This list is headed by classic winners, Magna Grecia and Sottsass (Prix du Jockey Club).

The influence of Galileo was again underlined in the 2019 Qipco 2000 Guineas, won by Magna Grecia. The latter was produced by his Gr3 Silver Flash Stakes winning daughter, Cabaret, with Magna Grecia the fourth 2000 Guineas winner produced by a Galileo daughter – and second winner in a row, following the now hugely promising sire, Night Of Thunder (2014), Galileo Gold (2016) and Saxon Warrior (2018). Remarkably, all seven of the last 2000 Guineas winners have Galileo in their immediate pedigree

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3 comments on “Galileo – A Giant!

  1. Ken van Der Merwe. says:

    Unbelievable post with fantastic information that this average race goer or even the average punter and South Africa Studs would find extremely interesting reading and gaining a wealth of knowledge at the same time. Congratulations to all concerned in putting this article together.

    1. Editor says:

      Thanks Ken – it was written by Sarah Whitelaw who contributes weekly vi9a her Here and Elsewhere column
      Appreciate the positive feedback

  2. bob kistnasamy says:

    it would be great to obtain data on some of the outstanding stallions in the South African context such as Jet Master, Captain Al and his sire etc. Should make for interesting reading.
    Our SA racing is rich in history and records.

    Diversion from the regular occurrences would help to increase the knowledge base.

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