Galileo making his mark as a broodmare sire
Rivet: one of 18 European stakes winners for Galileo as a broodmare sire
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Galileo making his mark as a broodmare sire
By Nancy Sexton 4:06PM 27 OCT 2016
THE past weekend was something of a rarity in that it didn't feature an European Pattern winner by Galileo. But that's not to say that the stallion slid into the background.
In a further enrichment to his burgeoning record as a broodmare sire, four of the weekend's stakes winners were out of his daughters.
They included the Racing Post Trophy winner Rivet, whose victory provided a fitting finale to a Group 1 season in Britain that had opened in April with the victory of Galileo Gold, another out of a mare by Galileo, in the 2,000 Guineas.
Galileo also featured as the damsire of the third home in the Racing Post Trophy, as well as the actual sire of the second, Yucatan, while at Newbury, daughter Effervesce was responsible for Radley Stakes winner Cristal Fizz.
That momentum carried over to Sunday at Saint-Cloud, where Loving Things took the Prix de Flore for Normandie Stud and Luca Cumani.
Galileo also made his mark in New Zealand as the damsire of Saturday's Listed Canterbury Stakes winner Hall Of Fame.
That Galileo should be proving so successful as a broodmare sire is no surprise. He has covered a number of the world's best mares since his retirement to stud, both in terms of racecourse performance and pedigree, allowing him every chance to excel. But even so, his oldest daughters are still ‘only' 13-years-old, significantly younger than many of those that surround him on the leading European sires' list, among them Danehill (oldest daughters 25-years-old), Danehill Dancer (18-years-old, although his more expensively bred crops came later in life), his own sire Sadler's Wells (30-years-old), Singspiel (18-years-old) and Rainbow Quest (29-years-old).
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The leading broodmare sires' table – British/Irish and European – is one list that Galileo hasn't conquered yet but expect that to change in due course. It won't happen this year in light of the authority that Danehill and Danehill Dancer hold over both, but given the manner in which his record has improved year on year, it's not out of the question that Galileo will be crowned a champion broodmare sire before he reaches the age of 20; for instance, Rivet sits near the head of a list of 18 European stakes winners this year alone, up from 12 in 2015 and eight in 2014.
As the accompanying panel shows, daughters of Galileo have accounted for two of the year's European Classic winners in Galileo Gold and La Cressonniere to complement a list that includes Night Of Thunder, successful in the 2014 2,000 Guineas, and Qualify, who sprung a 50-1 shock in last year's Oaks.
In addition to Rivet, there is another a top-class two-year-old in Intricately, who had Rhododendron and Hydrangea behind her in the Moyglare Stud Stakes, as well as two tough Group 2-winning juveniles in Rich Legacy and Roly Poly.
As is the case regarding his own stud record, a key contributor to his success has been the Danzig line, particularly that belonging to Danehill. For instance, the first Group 1 winner out of a Galileo mare was 2011 Phoenix Stakes heroine La Collina, the best of only a handful of above-average performers by the Dansili stallion Strategic Prince.
Duke Of Marmalade has also fared well with Galileo mares through Venus De Milo, the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks runner-up of 2013, and Listed winner Guinnevre. Holy Roman Emperor, meanwhile, has clicked with Galileo to sire Rich Legacy, Group 1-placed Leitir Mor and top Indian filly Smashing.
Aussie Rules, Danehill Dancer, Dylan Thomas and Rock Of Gibraltar are other sons of Danehill who have sired stakes winners out of Galileo mares.
Real success, however, has been realised through Rivet's sire Fastnet Rock.
Fastnet Rock joined Coolmore's Irish arm in 2010 when a first Australian sires' championship was just around the corner. As a son of Danehill who was already a leading sire in his native land, Fastnet Rock represented an appealing package to European breeders.
However, his profile also offered the strong possibility that he would provide a fine option for Sadler's Wells-line mares.
And so it has proved. Rivet is the third European Group 1 winner bred on the Fastnet Rock – Galileo cross following Qualify and Intricately from just 24 northern hemisphere-bred foals of racing age. What's more, the group includes last year's May Hill Stakes winner Turret Rocks and Enterprise Stakes winner Zhukova. It has also been well represented in Australia through Group 1 Queensland Derby winner Magicool, recent Group 2 Hawke's Bay Guineas winner Mongolian Falcon, Listed winners Rock Hero and Eagle Island and the Group 2-placed Sailing By. Overall, the nick is operating at a ratio of 21 per cent stakes winners to runners.
While Vanquish Run and Roly Poly are out of two Galileo top-notchers in Lily Of The Valley and Misty For Me, Galileo Gold and La Cressonniere are proof that breeders don't need to rely on a talented Galileo for success. Take the dams of Galileo Gold and La Cressonniere as an example; between them Galicuix and Absolute Lady never finished closer than fourth in eight starts.
Rivet's dam, Starship, had her share of ability, racking up a sequence of three wins for William Haggas over the course of eight months in 2005 and 2006.
A half-sister to Flying Childers Stakes heroine Superstar Leo (dam of Molecomb Stakes winner Enticing), and therefore from a family that Haggas knows well, Starship got off to a quick start at stud as the dam of Gallinule Stakes winner Alexander Pope in her first season.
Another four winners, all of whom ran to an useful level of form for Haggas (three were later sold to race in Hong Kong), followed before she foaled Rivet for breeder Des Scott.
Incidentally, this is also the further family of Power, who played his part in the good weekend for Galileo's daughters as the sire of Cristal Fizz.
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