Galileo (foaled 30 March 1998) is a retired Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire. In a racing career which lasted from October 2000 until October 2001 he ran eight times and won six races. He is best known for winning The Derby, Irish Derby Stakes, and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2001 and for his rivalry with the Godolphin champion Fantastic Light. He was named the European Champion Three-Year-Old Colt of 2001.
Racing colours of Susan Magnier
|Foaled||1998 (age 22)|
|Breeder||David Tsui and Orpendale|
|Owner||Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor|
|Ballysax Stakes (2001)|
Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (2001)
Epsom Derby (2001)
Irish Derby (2001)
K. George VI & Q. Elizabeth Stakes (2001)
|European Champion Three-Year-Old Colt (2001)|
Leading sire in Great Britain & Ireland
(2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
Leading broodmare sire in Great Britain & Ireland (2018)
|Last updated on 2 June 2019|
Since his retirement, Galileo has become one of the most sought after sires in the world. He first became the leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland in 2008, then consecutively earned the title from 2010 through 2020. In 2020, he set the record for the number of Epsom Derby winners sired at five: New Approach, Ruler Of The World, Australia, Anthony Van Dyck and Serpentine. In June 2020, Galileo sired his 85th Group 1 winner, breaking Danehill's world record and becoming the most successful source of Group I winners in thoroughbred history. In addition to his Derby winners, his notable offspring including Frankel, Nathaniel, Found, Churchill and Minding. He is also a leading broodmare sire and an emerging sire of sires.
Galileo is a 16 1⁄2 hh (64.5 inches, 164 cm) bay horse with a narrow white blaze and a white sock on his near hind leg. He was sired by Sadler's Wells out of the mare Urban Sea. His breeders were David Tsui, the owner of Urban Sea, and "Orpendale", a name used by the Coolmore Stud organisation for some of their breeding interests. He was described as a three-year-old as being "one of the most impeccably bred horses in training".
Sadler's Wells (1981–2011) won three Group One races in 1984 and went on to sire the winners of over 2,000 races, including more than 130 at Group One/Grade I level. He was the most successful sire in the history of British racing, being the leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland a record 14 times. Urban Sea (1989–2009) won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 1993 and went on to become an outstanding broodmare. Apart from Galileo, she was the dam of the Derby winner Sea the Stars, and the Grade I winners Black Sam Bellamy (Tattersalls Gold Cup) and My Typhoon (Diana Stakes), as well as All Too Beautiful (Group race winner, Group One placed) and Melikah (Listed race winner, Group One placed).
Galileo is known for his relaxed, professional behaviour and even temperament. Noel Stapleton, his long-time handler at Coolmore Stud, calls him a creature of habit. "He is a true gentleman", said Stapleton, "and I think he knows how important he is."
2000: two-year-old careerEdit
Galileo did not appear on the racecourse until late October 2000, when he was entered in a sixteen-runner maiden race at Leopardstown. He was made the even-money favourite, despite the field containing two runners each from the stables of the leading Irish trainers John Oxx and Jim Bolger. Mick Kinane tracked the leaders on Galileo before sending the colt into the lead in the straight. Although there were less than two furlongs to the finish, Galileo extended his lead fourteen lengths by the end of the race.
2001: three-year-old careerEdit
As a three-year-old, Galileo was conditioned for a middle-distance campaign and was aimed at Derby trial races in spring. On his debut, he was made 1/3 favourite for the Listed Ballysax Stakes over a mile and a quarter at Leopardstown. Racing smoothly throughout the race, he took the lead two furlongs out and won "easily" by three and a half lengths. Runner-up Milan went on to win the St Leger and finish second in the Breeders' Cup Turf, while the third-placed Vinnie Roe won four consecutive Irish St. Legers. After the race, Galileo was offered at odds of 8/1 for the Derby. O'Brien was satisfied with the performance, especially as he believed the colt was some way from peak fitness ("[my horses]...are as big as bulls") and likely to improve.
Galileo had his third race at Leopardstown in May as he was stepped up in class for the Group Three Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial. He was made odds-on favourite, and was ridden for the first and only time by Seamie Heffernan, as Kinane was riding Milan in the Group One Prix Lupin on the same day. Galileo took the lead a furlong from home and stayed on to beat the John Oxx-trained Exaltation by one and a half lengths. Although Heffernan put Galileo under pressure before going clear, the colt's Derby odds were cut to 5–1.
At Epsom, Galileo started 11/4 joint-favourite alongside the 2,000 Guineas winner Golan. The 2001 Epsom Derby field was strong, with Tobougg, the previous year's champion two-year-old, and the winners of most of the major Derby trials, including Mr Combustible (Chester Vase), Dilshaan (Dante Stakes) and Perfect Sunday (Lingfield Derby Trial), all taking part. Kinane positioned Galileo just behind the leaders and turned into the straight in third behind Mr Combustible and Perfect Sunday. Two furlongs from the finish, Galileo moved past Mr Combustible and quickly went clear to record an "impressive" three and a half length victory over Golan, Tobougg and Mr Combustible. Following the race, Timeform assigned a figure of 130 to Galileo, making him, in their opinion, the best Derby winner for ten years. Kinane was reported to have called Galileo the best horse he had ridden, saying, "There is no weakness to him... He is a dream to ride."
In the Irish Derby at The Curragh, three weeks later, Galileo was made favourite at odds of 4/11, with Golan and Exaltation the only other horses starting at less than 20/1. Galileo led two furlongs from the finish and quickly went clear. Although Kinane eased the colt down in the closing stages, he won by four lengths from the Derby Italiano winner Morshdi, with Golan another four lengths back in third. Kinane, who was winning his first Irish Derby in seventeen attempts said that he was always in "complete control", while Morshdi's jockey, Philip Robinson described the winner as "a freak".
Galileo was then tested against older horses in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot in July. The betting suggested that the race would be a match between Galileo (1/2 favourite) and the Godolphin five-year-old Fantastic Light (7-2), who had won Group One races in four different countries. Such were the reputations of these two horses that the third choice in the betting, the Prix du Jockey Club winner Anabaa Blue, started at 18/1. Kinane took Galileo to the lead two furlongs out, but Frankie Dettori soon brought Fantastic Light to challenge. The horses raced together for a few strides before Galileo pulled ahead inside the final furlong and won by two lengths.
Galileo returned to Leopardstown in September for a much-anticipated Irish Champion Stakes in which he was matched against Fantastic Light again, this time over the shorter distance of one and a quarter miles. O'Brien entered Ice Dancer in the race to act as pacemaker and ensure a stamina test. The plan failed as the rest of the riders ignored Ice Dancer, who went ten lengths clear before stopping abruptly in the straight. Fantastic Light took the lead two furlongs out, and Kinane immediately moved Galileo up to join him. The two horses raced side by side throughout the last quarter of the mile, with the advantage appearing to fluctuate between them. On the line, Fantastic Light defeated Galileo by a head in a photo finish. The race has been described as one of the most exciting and memorable in the modern history of the sport. O'Brien praised the winner, but felt that he had "messed up" tactically.
For his final race, Galileo was sent to Belmont Park for the Breeders' Cup Classic. He was racing on dirt for the first time, although before traveling he was prepared by exercising on the artificial surface at Southwell. The Classic was expected to feature a third meeting between Galileo and Fantastic Light, but the Godolphin horse was switched to the Turf shortly before the race. In the Classic, Galileo raced behind the leaders for most of the way but was unable to quicken, staying on at the same pace to finish sixth of the fourteen runners behind Tiznow.
Galileo's retirement was announced immediately after the race.
|Date||Race||Dist (f)||Course||Class||Prize (£K)||Odds||Runners||Placing||Margin||Time||Jockey||Trainer|
|28 October 2000||IBEC EBF Maiden||8||Leopardstown||M||8||Evens||16||1||14||1:48.20||Michael Kinane||Aidan O'Brien|
|16 April 2001||Ballysax Stakes||10||Leopardstown||L||20||1/3||7||1||3.5||2:20.10||Michael Kinane||Aidan O'Brien|
|13 May 2001||Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial||10||Leopardstown||3||39||8/15||5||1||1.5||2:08.50||Seamie Heffernan||Aidan O'Brien|
|9 June 2001||Derby||12||Epsom||1||580||11/4||12||1||3.5||2:33.27||Michael Kinane||Aidan O'Brien|
|1 July 2001||Irish Derby||12||The Curragh||1||411||4/11||12||1||4||2:27.10||Michael Kinane||Aidan O'Brien|
|28 July 2001||King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes||12||Ascot||1||435||1/2||12||1||2||2:27.71||Michael Kinane||Aidan O'Brien|
|8 September 2001||Irish Champion Stakes||10||Leopardstown||1||384||4/11||7||2||Head||2:01.80||Michael Kinane||Aidan O'Brien|
|27 October 2001||Breeders' Cup Classic||10||Belmont Park||1||1386||100/30||13||6||7.75||2:00.62||Michael Kinane||Aidan O'Brien|
Galileo was named European Champion Three-Year-Old at the Cartier Racing Awards.
In the 2001 International Classification (the forerunner of the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings), Galileo was assessed at 129 (equal with Fantastic Light), making him the third highest rated horse behind Sakhee and Point Given.
Galileo was retired to stand as a stallion for the Coolmore Stud. He originally operated as a "shuttle" stallion, standing at Coolmore's main farm at Fethard, County Tipperary Ireland during the Northern Hemisphere breeding season and moving to its Australian branch in the Hunter Region, New South Wales for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season. However, since 2012, he has stood exclusively in Ireland.
Galileo was the leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland in 2008 and from 2010 to 2019. Since 2008, his stud fee has since been privately negotiated, but he is reputed to be the most expensive stallion in the world. For breeders who are not associates of Coolmore Stud, the fee has "long been north of €400,000" and suggested to be as high as €600,000 in 2018.
As of 1 June 2019[update], he had sired 192 group winners. In August 2018, Sizzling gave Galileo his 328th European group race win as a sire, taking him past the record previously held by his own sire Sadler's Wells.
On 9 November 2019, Magic Wand became his 84th individual Group/Grade One winner, putting him level with Danehill for most such winners sired. Anthony Van Dyck became his fourth Epsom Derby winner in 2019 (with New Approach, Ruler of the World, and Australia). This ties him with Cyllene, Waxy, Sir Peter Teazle, Blandford and Montjeu for the number of Derby winners sired. After Minding's victory in the 2016 1000 Guineas, Galileo became the sire of winners of all five British Classics. In the 2016 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, he sired the top three finishers (Found, Highland Reel and Order of St George). In the 2019 Derby, he was the sire, grandsire or great-grandsire of 12 out of 13 runners, and was the broodmare sire of the 13th. In 2020, he was the sire of the all-conquering Love, winner of the 1000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and the Darley Yorkshire Oaks.
In September 2008, Galileo underwent surgery for colic.
‡ Gleneagles was demoted from first to third in the 2014 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère, after stewards deemed him to have interfered with the horse that finished second (Full Mast) and third (Territories).
Sire of siresEdit
Several of Galileo's sons have also begun to make an impact as stallions. In 2018, Frankel finished fourth on the leading sire list, while Nathaniel finished fifth. New Approach was the sire of 2018 Derby winner Masar, while Teofilo sired Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter.
Entered stud in 2008.
|2009||Parish Hall||c||Dewhurst Stakes|
|2009||Voleuse de Coeurs||f||Irish St. Leger|
|2010||Havanna Gold||c||Prix Jean Prat|
|2010||Loch Garman||c||Critérium International|
|2010||Trading Leather||c||Irish Derby|
|2010||Happy Clapper||g||Canterbury Stakes, Doncaster Mile, Epsom Handicap|
|2012||Pleascach||f||Irish 1,000 Guineas, Yorkshire Oaks|
|2012||Humidor (NZ)||g||Makybe Diva Stakes, Memsie Stakes|
|2014||Exultant||g||Hong Kong Vase, Hong Kong Gold Cup, Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup|
|2015||Cross Counter||g||Melbourne Cup|
Entered stud in 2009.
|2010||Dawn Approach||c||National Stakes, Dewhurst Stakes, 2000 Guineas, St James's Palace Stakes|
|2010||May's Dream||f||Australasian Oaks|
Soldier of FortuneEdit
Entered stud in 2010. Standing at Haras Du Logis Saint Germain in France, shuttling to Southern America.
|2012||El Armenio||c||Gran Premio Nacional – Augusto B. Leguia, Premio Polla de Potrillos (Peruvian 2000 Guineas)|
|2012||Rey del Rock||c||Gran Premio Hipódromo Chile|
Rip Van WinkleEdit
Entered stud in 2011.
|2012||Dick Whittington||c||Phoenix Stakes|
Entered stud in 2013.
|2014||Soul Stirring||f||Yushun Himba, Hanshin Juvenile Fillies|
|2014||Cracksman||c||Champion Stakes (twice), Prix Ganay, Coronation Cup|
|2014||Mozu Ascot||c||Yasuda Kinen, February Stakes|
|2014||Call The Wind||g||Prix du Cadran|
|2014||Dream Castle||g||Jebel Hatta|
|2015||Without Parole||c||St James's Palace Stakes|
|2016||Anapurna||f||Epsom Oaks, Prix de Royallieu|
Entered stud in 2013.
|2014||Enable||f||Epsom Oaks, Irish Oaks, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (three times), Yorkshire Oaks (twice), Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (twice), Breeders' Cup Turf, Eclipse Stakes|
|2014||God Given||f||Premio Lydia Tesio|
|2016||Channel||f||Prix de Diane|
Like his sire Galileo has become a sire of excellent broodmares whose offspring have achieved Group 1 success.
|Forest Storm||Night of Thunder||c||2000 Guineas Stakes, Lockinge Stakes|
|Perfect Truth||Magicool||g||Queensland Derby|
|Galicuix||Galileo Gold||c||2000 Guineas Stakes|
|Absolute Lady||La Cressonniere||f||Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, Prix de Diane|
|Inner Realm||Intricately||f||Moyglare Stud Stakes|
|Cabaret||Magna Grecia||c||Vertem Futurity Trophy, 2000 Guineas Stakes|
|Maybe||Saxon Warrior||c||2000 Guineas Stakes, Racing Post Trophy|
|Misty for Me||Roly Poly||c||Falmouth Stakes, Prix Rothschild, Sun Chariot Stakes|
|Misty for Me||U S Navy Flag||c||Dewhurst Stakes, July Cup|
|Alina||Barney Roy||g||St James's Palace Stakes|
|Nightime||Ghaiyyath||c||Grosser Preis von Baden, Coronation Cup, Eclipse Stakes, International Stakes|
|Hail To Reason|
|Raise a Native|
|Almyra (Family 9-h)|
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- "Prix Lupin". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
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- "Derby in sights of O'Brien's Galileo". The Independent. London. 2001-05-14. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
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- "Galileo is rated best in the last 10 years". The Independent. London. 2001-06-12. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- J.A.McGrath (2001-06-10). "Epsom Derby: O'Brien hails great Galileo". Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- "Irish Derby result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- "Galileo soars high into the stratosphere". The Independent. London. 2001-07-02. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- "King George result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- Stafford, Tony (2001-09-04). "Irish showdown takes shape". Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- "Irish Champion Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- Scott, Brough (2001-09-08). "Fantastic holds off Galileo in epic duel". Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- "Fantastic Light outshines Galileo". The Independent. London. 2001-09-09. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- Haskin, Steve. "Galileo, Fantastic Light Turn in Sharp Works for Breeders' Cup Classic". BloodHorse. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- "Breeders' Cup Classic result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- "Godolphin sets Sakhee up for Tiznow rematch". The Independent. London. 2001-10-31. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- "EndMaterial2002.PDF" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- Yates, David. "The greatest Derby stars of all time – and how Nijinsky is connected to Goldfinger". mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- "Former Shuttlers Take NH Features". Racingandsports.com.au. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- "Galileo Triumphs Again in Sires' Race". Thoroughbred Daily News. 31 December 2018. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
- "Galileo, By A Country Mile". Thoroughbred Daily News. 31 December 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
- Sexton, Nancy. "The world's ten most expensive stallions for 2018". Thoroughbred Racing Commentary. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
- O'Donoghue, Ollie (12 August 2018). "Galileo tops all-time list as progeny chalk up 328 European Pattern wins". Racing Post.
- Thomas, James (9 November 2019). "Galileo matches Danehill's all-time record of 84 Group-Grade 1 winners". Racing Post.
- "Galileo edges closer to immortality with record-equalling fourth Derby winner". Racing Post. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
- "Galileo claims 1 000 Guineas with Minding". Racing Post. Archived from the original on 2 May 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- "Galileo Recovering from Colic Surgery". bloodhorse.com. 2008-09-19. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
- Racing Post
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- "Adelaide – Family 9-h". Bloodlines.net. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
- Career 1-2-3 Colour Chart – Galileo