Dubawi vs Galileo

Racing superpowers



The title of Europe’s greatest sire surely belongs to the mighty Galileo. Victorious in the 2001 Epsom Derby, Sadler’s Wells’ finest sire son (only Montjeu runs him close) has headed the General Sires log in GB/Ireland six times thus far. While he still languishes behind the remarkable 14 GB/Ire sires titles won by his own sire, Sadler’s Wells, Galileo, who is 17, looks to have time on his side and should still manage to add to his already remarkable record.

Sire of this year’s Qipco 2000 Guineas winner, Gleneagles (whose full sister Marvellous won the Irish 1000 Guineas), Galileo has an astounding total of 45 Gr1 winners to his credit and is also an emerging sire of sires.

Consistently outstanding

Galileo, whose son, Frankel, is regarded by many as the greatest thoroughbred in history, has been consistently outstanding at stud. To date, Galileo has no fewer than seven English classic winners to his credit, including three Investec Derby winners – New Approach, Ruler Of The World and Australia. He also achieved a notable 1-2-3 in a major classic, when sons Sixties Icon, The Last Drop and Red Rocks fought out the finish to the 2006 St Leger. To date, Galileo has been represented by more than 170 stakes winners and his progeny have amassed more than $156 million in stakes.


Galileo’s sole rival to the title of Europe’s greatest stallion of the era may well be Dubawi, whose classic winning son, Makfi, sired Sunday’s impressive French 2000 Guineas winner, Make Believe. Ironically the two great sires are stood by the world’s two super powers in racing – Coolmore and Darley. Currently, Galileo and Dubawi rank third and sixth on the UK’s general sires list (by stakes), which is headed, at the time of writing, by Invincible Spirit.

Measure of greatness

The greatness of Galileo can surely be measured by his 45 Gr1 winners in comparison with Dubawi’s current score of 17 top level winners. However, Galileo, who retired to stud in 2001, has had a four year start on his closest rival – who is siring a truly exceptional 11 % stakes winners to foals. Staggeringly, Dubawi is siring more than 7% Group/Graded winners to foals – the sign of a truly great sire indeed. He is also an exceptionally versatile sire (perhaps more so than Galileo), having produced Group winners from 1000m to 3200m. In contrast, Galileo (who, like Sadler’s Wells, is best known as a sire of exceptional classic horses) is throwing 10% stakes winners to foals, and 6% of his foals are Group winners.

Dubawi, is also set to benefit from the numerous outstanding mares carrying Galileo or Sadler’s Wells, in their immediate pedigree – a benefit which is bound to improve the Dubai Millennium son’s already outstanding record.

The Classics

In terms of English classic success, Galileo’s tally of seven is comfortably clear of Dubawi – whose sole British classic wins have come with Makfi and Night Of Thunder, victorious in the 2010 and 2014 2000 Guineas respectively. By comparison, Galileo’s runners have won four of the five British classics, the sole race to elude him being the 1000 Guineas. His sons, Frankel and Gleneagles, won the 2000 Guineas, daughter, Was, landed the Investec Oaks, three Galileo colts have scored in the Investec Derby and the above mentioned Sixties Icon landed the 2006 St Leger. Galileo’s offspring have proved equally dominant in Ireland – and have won all five of the classics there. Galileo sons have won the Irish Derby on four occasions (Galileo son, Teofilo, sired 2013 winner Trading Leather) and Irish 2000 Guineas twice, while three daughters of the great horse tasted success in the Irish 1000 Guineas. Galileo daughter, Great Heavens, won the Irish Oaks in 2012, and while the Irish St Leger is no longer a classic in the strict sense of the word (being open to all ages), that long distance race has fallen to a Galileo sired runner twice.

South African success

Not surprisingly, both of these two magnificent stallions have enjoyed plenty of success in South Africa – despite a very limited representation. In terms of quality individuals, Galileo perhaps takes the pick with his daughter, Igugu, being South Africa’s Horse Of The Year in 2010-2011. One of just two fillies to win the SA Triple Tiara, Igugu went on to land both the Gr1 Vodacom Durban July and Gr1 J&B Met before a somewhat fruitless overseas campaign. Igugu is one of two SA Gr1 winners by Galileo to date (the other being fellow Equus champion, Mahbooba) and the former Derby winner has been represented by no fewer than 11 black type performers in this country to date.

Dubawi has been represented by the same number of Gr1 winners in SA, with his local runners including Happy Archer (Garden Province Stakes) and Willow Magic (SA Nursery).

International achievements

Understandably, two such outstanding stallions have fared well throughout the world. Dubawi has been represented by Gr1 winners in no fewer than 12 different countries, with his progeny scoring at the highest level in all of Australia, Britain, Canada, Dubai, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Singapore, South Africa, and North America.

Galileo has sired Gr1 winners in seven different countries – Australia, Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, South Africa and USA – and, unlike Dubawi, has already tasted success in the Breeders’ Cup (Galileo’s sons Red Rocks and Magician both landing the Breeders’ Cup Turf). Both horses have already sired classic sire sons and, with the best perhaps yet to come for both, Dubawi and Galileo look set to become highly successful sires of sires.

Best of both?

With Dubawi siring a Guineas winner (Night Of Thunder) out of a Galileo mare, it will be interesting to follow the future of these two outstanding stallions – and it is hard to believe that Night Of Thunder is the last English classic winner to combine the blood of Galileo and Dubawi.

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