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Galileo Juveniles Promise No Mercy in 2011

While the strength of the current European stallion community means that Galileo is unlikely to emulate his sire’s string of championships, there is no doubt that he is going a long way to replacing Sadler’s Wells. In one respect – his ability to get top two-year-olds – he may even have an edge over his legendary sire. If we credit Frankel with the crown that will surely be his when season ending honors are distributed, we see that following Teofilo (IRE) (TrueNicks,SRO) and New Approach (IRE) (TrueNicks,SRO), Galileo will have been represented by three European Champion Juveniles from just six crops. Or in other words, he will have sired Europe’s top two-year-old in 50% of the years that he has had starters. Not bad for a horse who won two Derbys and a King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (gr. I).

Galileo has actually sired 18 juvenile winners this year, four stakes winners, and five other stakes horses. Obviously, the standout is Frankel, who concluded an undefeated four-race campaign with a 2¼ length victory over fellow Galileo son Roderic O’Connor in the Dewhurst Stakes (gr. I). Frankel and Roderic O’Conner, who are both rated A++ by TrueNicks, are out of mares by Danehill. The cross has produced seven stakes winners from 49 starters (14%), three group I (including Teofilo), and there are a total of 14 stakes performers. Frankel’s dam, Kind, was a listed winner who scored at up to seven furlongs. She’s also dam of Frankel’s brother, Bullet Train, successful in the 2010 Lingfield Derby Trial (gr. III). Kind is also a half sister to Powerscourt, a son of Sadler’s Wells who numbered the Arlington Million (gr. I) and Tattersalls Gold Cup (gr. I) among his triumphs. The granddam, Rainbow Lake, a daughter of Rainbow Quest, won the Lancashire Oaks (gr. III). Frankel appears a speedier type than Bullet Train, and his abiity to last the Epsom Derby (gr. I) distance can’t be taken for granted, although he looks a formidable prospect for the 2,000 Guineas (gr. I).

Roderic O’Connor is out of Secret Garden, a stakes winner in England and the U.S., who stayed 8½ furlongs. The second dam is by Kris out of Durtal, winner of the Cheveley Park Stakes (gr. I) at six furlongs, but dam of the Ascot Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Gildoran. By the way, another 2010 Galileo youngster out of a Danehill mare is Golden Lilac, winner in France of his only two starts to date. His dam is Grey Lilas, whose victories included the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (gr. I).

Galileo’s daughter, Misty For Me (TrueNicks A+) actually has an edge on Frankel in terms of credits, as she has two group ones on her record having taken the Moyglare Stakes (gr. I) and Prix Marcel Boussac (gr. I). Misty For Me is out of a Storm Cat mare, and is one of two stakes winners for the sire out of mares from that line. The dam, Butterfly Cove, is a sister to Irish seven furlong group three winner, and half sister to the juvenile sensation of a few years back, Fasliyev. The granddam is a half sister to grade I winners Desert Wine and Menifee. Misty For Me is a parallel pattern horse as sire and dam are both Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector crosses. The third dam, Anne Campbell, is by the frequent Sadler’s Wells accomplice, Never Bend.

Together, winner of the Silver Flash Stakes (gr. III), and runner-up in the Fillies’ Mile Stakes (gr. I), is a three-parts-sister to juvenile group I winner, and 2010 Irish Derby (gr. I) second, Jan Vermeer (by Montjeu out of the same mare, Shadow Song). The dam is a half sister to group winner Midnight Air, also dam of Midnight Line, a three-time group and graded winner who was second in the Epsom Oaks (gr. I). She’s also half sister to the dam of Imperial Beauty (by Imperial Ballet), an untypical Sadler’s Wells granddaughter who won the Prix de l’Abbaye (gr. I) over five furlongs. The third dam, Nellie Forbes, is a Secretariat three-parts-sister to Bold Forbes. Togther (TrueNicks A++) is one of two group winners (the other is group I winner Lily of the Valley) from three starters by Galileo out of mares by Pennekamp (by Bering, grandson of Sea-Bird II).

Gemstone gained a win in a one-mile Irish listed race in October. Given the success of the reverse cross, it comes as something of a surprise to find that she is the first stakes winner from 32 starters by sons of Sadler’s Wells out of mares by Kingmambo. The second dam, Gossamer, is by Seattle Slew, out of Lisaleen (by Northern Dancer out of Lisadell, a sister to Special, dam of Nureyev, and the granddam of Sadler’s Wells). So Gemstone has Sadler’s Wells/Nureyev 2 x 4, and Special/Lisadell 5 x 6 x 5.

Outside of the stakes winners there are some other Galileo juveniles that have shown distinct promise. We’ve mentioned one in Golden Lilac, and a couple of others to keep an eye on are Seville and Galikova. The stoutly-bred Seville was beaten just ¾ length in the Racing Post Trophy (gr. I) on the most recent weekend. His dam, Silverskaya, is by Silver Hawk out of a Niniski mare. She won two group races in France, scoring at up to 12½ furlongs, so Seville is unlikely to have much problem with the Epsom Derby (gr. I) trip. Even through he’s yet to win a stakes, Seville is TrueNicks rated A++ on the back of Galileo’s tremendous strike rate with Roberto line mares, which shows he has seven stakes winners (four group) from only 22 starters on the cross (31% stakes winners to starters). Galikova (TrueNicks A+) is out of the Blushing Groom mare Born Gold, and so is half sister to the peerless Goldikova. She impressed when making a winning debut, and then was a staying on fifth, beaten a little over five lengths by Misty For Me on heavy ground in the Prix Marcel Boussac (gr. I), while being given the tenderest of rides.

Doubtless there are several other later-developing Galileo’s that will emerge, but looking at the above, 2011 could be a long year for his opponents in the European stallion colony.

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