GALILEO (Sadler’s Wells) will continue to enjoy success as a sire of winners, his sons and grandsons will feature as prolific stallions, and his daughters will be influential too. So far Galileo has had 93 Group/Grade 1 winners of 193 top-level races, and the question surely is what horse will be number 94?
Aidan O’Brien and the Ballydoyle team are assembling a high-class team of classic challengers, and three of them, all by Galileo, are worth a special mention. The two colts are homebreds, by Peter Brant’s White Birch and by Coolmore, while the filly, bred by David and Diane Nagle’s Barronstown Stud, was bought by MV Magnier as a yearling for 2,800,000gns – a great price for a first foal.
Placed on four of his five juvenile outings, Stone Age finally landed a maiden success at Navan at the end of March, and the form of the race was franked when the fourth finisher that day, Fumata, also won at the weekend. Stone Age could not have been more impressive as he was a runaway winner of the Group 3 Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown, and he is now many people’s idea of the Derby winner.
The last time this particular Derby trial yielded a winner at Epsom was two decades ago, so Stone Age has the weight of history against him somewhat. Racing for Peter Brant, his breeder, and Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor, Stone Age is the second winner for Bonanza Creek (Anabaa) who was purchased by White Birch for €270,000 at Goffs from the Wildenstein dispersal.
Her first foal, Siyoulater (Siyouni), won at three in France, was bought back for €80,000 that same year, and 14 months later went through the Arqana sale ring again and traded for a mere €7,000, albeit it having been barren for her first two years at stud.
Stone Age is Bonanza Creek’s third foal, followed by the two-year-old Sandy Creek (Frankel) and a yearling filly by Churchill (Galileo).
Bonanza Creek is among eight winners from the Group 2 winner and Group 1 Prix Vermeille third Bright Moon (Alysheba), and that mare’s best runners were Bright Sky (Wolfhound) and Board Meeting (Anabaa). Two of Bright Sky’s six wins were in Group 1 races, including the Prix de Diane-French Oaks.
Meanwhile, Board Meeting, an own-sister to Stone Age’s dam, won a couple of Group 3s and was placed a number of times at the highest level, running second in the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera and third in the Group 1 Prix Vermeille. She, like Bonanza Creek, is the dam of a stakes winner by Galileo.
The Listed Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes has a good record when it comes to being an indicator of Epsom ability, and last Friday’s winner United Nations has a name that would be apposite for a winner of the Derby.
The Coolmore-bred United Nations is a third stakes winner from Grade 1 Ashland Stakes winner Christmas Kid, a daughter of Lemon Drop Kid (Kingmambo) who cost Coolmore a hefty $4.2 million carrying the group-placed Father Christmas (Bernardini). The team knew a little about the family as they had raced an earlier offspring, the group-placed juvenile Michaelmas (Elusive Quality), a $525,000 foal purchase.
After her sale at Keeneland, Christmas Kid shipped to Ireland and her first mating with Galileo resulted in Black Sea, a listed winner at three and group-placed at two. Three years later and along came Christmas (Galileo), winner of the Listed Caravaggio Stakes at Tipperary at two and third in the Group 1 National Stakes. It was another three years before United Nations appeared.
Prize Exhibit, a daughter of Showcasing (Oasis Dream), was group-placed at two, and twice a winner at the same age, after Jamie Osborne bought her as a yearling for 28,000gns. She raced for a partnership that included MV Magnier. Her performances led Prize Exhibit to being sold privately to race in the USA and there she won another five times, twice at Grade 2 level and another twice in Grade 3 races. She placed in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks.
Sent to Tattersalls in Newmarket to be sold, Prize Exhibit was purchased by Barronstown Stud for 775,000gns and sent to be mated with Galileo. Her first foal, now named History, made nearly four times her dam’s purchase price when she was sold by the Nagles as a yearling, and her second victory, in the weekend’s Group 3 Cornelscourt Stakes at Leopardstown, has boosted History’s winnings to the equivalent of £40,000.
An additional influence on the valuation of History was the fact that Prize Exhibit’s own-brother emerged in the interim. The lightly-raced Mohaather (Showcasing) won the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury shortly after landing his maiden over six furlongs at Nottingham, and added the Group 3 Greenham Stakes on the first of just two starts at three. As a four-year-old he trounced San Donato by almost four lengths to take the Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot just 18 days before beating Circus Maximus and Siskin in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes over the same trip at Goodwood, a performance that drew rave reviews.
He and Prize Exhibit are siblings to the winning dam of Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes scorer Accidental Agent (Delegator). Roodeye (Inchinor), their dam, is one of five blacktype earners among 10 winners out of Roo (Rudimentary), a stakes-placed half-sister to Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes scorer Bannister (Inchinor), and to the dam of the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes winner Astaire (Intense Focus).