Guest Column: Galileo, Sadler’s Wells: The Fairytale Continues

Guest Column: Galileo, Sadler’s Wells: The Fairytale Continues

15 October, 2012
– Lisa Barrett

Wednesday’s session at the Tattersall’s October Yearling Sale confirmed once again why Galileo is the most sought after sire in the world today. Dominating the another second day of the sale, Galileo was responsible for five of the sales toppers, and in the process set a new record for daily turnover of 25,022,000 guineas, smashing the previous one set just 24 hours after the last record had been broken.

All in all, Galileo has been responsible for the top five lots of the sale so far, including the present sales topper (Lot 383), the 1.5 million guineas full sister to Investec Oaks (Gr.1) winner Was. The Galileo filly was the subject of a bidding war between the Coolmore buyer who along with John Magnier were poised to pounce when the filly came in the ring. In the end though, they gave way to Nicolas de Watrigant of Mandore International, who purchased her for an undisclosed buyer.

Galileo’s four other fillies went for 1.3 million, 925 000, 900 000 & 535 000 respectively. As if that were not enough, the super sire was also responsible for the top colt on the session, Lot 375, by the champion Irish and multiple Group winning mare, Alexander Goldrun, who went for 950 000 guineas.

Galileo’s sire the immortal Sadler’s Wells was by one of the most successful sires of the modern era, Northern Dancer, and he went onto more than emulate his great sire in every respect. A successful racehorse with 3 Group Ones (the Irish 2000 Guineas, the Eclipse Stakes & Irish Champion Stakes) and two Group Twos (the Beresford Stakes & Derrinstown Derby Trial) under his belt, it was as a sire that he really came into his own.

It was thanks to Sadler’s Wells that Coolmore sit in such a position of global dominance today, thanks to his 14 sires championships in Britain & Ireland. From his very first crop, he produced six individual Group One winners. Sadler’s Wells was also champion sire three times in France, and in 2010 in the United States. His dominance of the breeding scene has been total, and he produced over 325 Stakes and 80 Group/Grade One winners. Retired in 2008 due to declining fertility, he lived to ripe old age of 30 before dying in 2011 of natural causes.

Sadler's Wells   Galileo   Lot 557, sold for 2.5 million gns, by Galileo(IRE) out of Funsie by Saumarez(GB). Image: Coolmore Stud

It’s as a sire of sires though, that Sadler’s Wells has left his legacy on the breeding and racing landscape. Besides the obvious one, Galileo, he also sired Montjeu (who sadly died earlier this year), who himself produced 90 Stakes and 19 individual Group One winners including: St Nicholas Abbey, Pour Moi, Authorized and Camelot, all winners of the iconic Epsom Derby.

Next to Galileo, the one Sadler’s Wells son that captured the hearts of the public, was the great Yeats (half brother to Summerhill Stud-based stallion Solskjaer) a seven time Group One winner, and the only horse in history to win four consecutive Ascot Gold Cups. Considered to be one of the greatest stayers of the modern era, Yeats’ first yearlings hit the scene in 2011, and it remains to be seen as to whether they can emulate their illustrious sire’s achievements.

South Africa has been blessed with generous sprinklings of the Galileo magic, thanks to a fortuitous pinkhook at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale in early 2009 by Mick Goss of Summerhill Stud, South Africa became the stomping ground for arguably one of the best daughters of Galileo in the southern hemisphere, Igugu to weave her magic. The first filly to win South Africa’s Triple Crown (the Fillies Guineas, the Fillies Classic and the Oaks), she followed that up with a thrilling win in Africa’s greatest horserace, the Vodacom Durban July. Many wondered how much longer she could keep up the pace, and it was rather flat looking Igugu who lined up in the 2012 J&B Met. It was a testament to her breeding and courage, that she held on to record a memorable win.

Thanks to her various Group victories, Igugu is on her way to Dubai with another Mike de Kock KZN horse, the Scott Brothers star The Apache, for a crack at the world’s richest race, the Dubai Carnival.

KZN is fortunate enough to have one of Sadler’s Wells sons standing here in the province the impeccably bred King of Kings who stands at Peter & Jenny Blyth’s Clifton Stud. King of Kings was a brilliant and precocious sprinter, winning his first Group One, the National Stakes (Gr.1) over 1600m at just 2 years of age. He followed that up with subsequent wins in the Railway Stakes 1200m (Gr.3) and the Tyros Stakes 1400m and a gallant 2nd in the Angelsey Stakes (Gr.3) all in the same year. However his racing career was cut short by recurrent knee problems and he was retired to stud in Australia in 1999, ending with a Timeform rating of 125 thanks to his various Group wins.

Shuttled between Switzerland, Japan and New Zealand, where he was champion sire of 2YO’s, he also sired King’s Chapel, the Antipodean champion Grade One winning colt, who followed his father here to South Africa and now stands at Bush Hill Stud, where he is expected to continue the legacy of his illustrious sire.

King of Kings landed on KZN shores in 2006, and didn’t take long to hit his stride, soon producing the champion filly Kings Temptress, who caused one of the biggest upsets of the year by winning the S.A.Fillies Nursery at odds of 150-1, in the process beating some of the top young fillies Ilha Da Rock and Franny, and the brilliant colt Reign Of Kings a three time winner for Mike de Kock including an impressive win in the Sentinel Stakes at Clairwood in March this year. King of Kings finished in the top five of sires of 2YO’s for the 2012 season, in the process beating the super sires like Jet Master, Kahal, Silvano, Black Minnaloushe, Western Winter and Mogok. KZN breeding and racing has much to look forward to thanks to these supremely talented double act.

King Of Kings(IRE), sire of King's Chapel. Stands at Clifton Stud.   King's Chapel(AUS), Bush Hill Stud.   Golden Sword(GB), Summerhill Stud.

As if this were not enough, earlier this year, KZN managed to grab another one of the Sadler’s Wells tribe for stud duties here in the province. Through his brilliant Australian-bred son High Chaparral, who already has six Group One winners from his first year a stud to his credit, we have Golden Sword, who stands at Summerhill Stud in the Midlands. Golden Sword was a winner of four races over distances from 1400-2400m and earned over R6 million in prize money, thanks to a stirring runaway victory in the Chester Vase (Gr.3). It was in the Investec Derby (Gr.1) that Golden Sword achieved his fame, when he came within two lengths of beating Sea The Stars and causing one of the biggest upsets in racing for years.

Even though it will only be in 2015 before his first 2YOs hit the sales rings, there is great hope that Golden Sword can like King Of Kings and King’s Chapel continue the legacy of the immortal Sadler’s Wells and raise the breeding and racing profile of the province to new heights.

Update: A Galileo colt named Hydrogen and ¾ brother to Authorized smashed the sales record for any yearling for 2012, when he went for 2 500 000 ($4 212,393). Out of Funsie by Saumarez(GB) who stood at stud in South Africa, the colt became the subject of a furious and sustained bidding war between Coolmore and Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani, the price seesawing as Sheikh Al-Thani held his nerve against the might of Coolmore. In the end David Redvers, acting on behalf of the Sheikh made the winning bid, and history was made once again. As expected, the other top lot of the day also by Galileo, was a filly by Arkadina, daughter of Danehill, and a ¾ sister to Irish 1000 Guineas winner Again, who went for 700 000 guineas.

Lisa Barrett
– Guest Writer

“Lisa Barrett”, her psuedonym, currently works at a stud farm in the KZN Midlands. She is absolutely and totally crazy about horses and every aspect of them. She is fascinated by every aspect of the racehorse business, especially pedigrees and would like to one day write a book on her favourite sire!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *