Galileo/Danehill Revisited

A little over two years ago, we looked at the cross of Galileo with mares by Danehill. This was fast becoming a European mega nick, having—in the space of three weeks—been represented by Frankel, who had just taken the Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) in breathtaking style; Golden Lilac, successful in the French One Thousand Guineas (Fr-I); and Roderic O'Connor, who took the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I).

We've seen some examples of tremendously successful crosses begin to return to the statistical norm when used with increased frequency. Often, we suspect, this occurs because the sire begins to be used as a default option with less care taken in considering both the sire and dam as individuals compared to earlier matings, and sometimes because the population of mares by a broodmare sire is either aging or represents a different demographic to those used for earlier attempts. With that in mind, we though that it might be interesting to see how the Galileo/Danehill nick is faring.

At the time (late May 2011) there had been 10 stakes winners from 62 starters by Galileo out of Danehill mares, which is 16% stakes winners to starters, and a TrueNicks rating of A+. So, what do we find a little over 25 months later? Well, the score now stands at 17 stakes winners from 105 starters, which is ... 16% stakes winners to starters, and a TrueNicks rating of A+ (view report). So, as the expression goes, "no change there."

Given just how good a sire Galileo (TrueNicks) is, and that the quality of mares that has visited him would have been on the upgrade, improving to this degree on that level of quality is a considerable endorsement of the cross. Two of the new stakes winners are group I winners: Maybe, who took the Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-I), and this year's French Derby (Fr-I) hero Intello. A variation on a theme that has improved is that of Galileo with mares by sons of Danehill, which had just one stakes winner from 27 starters but is now up to a far more healthy four stakes winners from 41 starters. The quartet are all group or graded scorers, and include Magician, who took this year's Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I).

Five of the 17 stakes winners out of Danehill mares go back to Bruce Lowe's #1 family (admittedly, this represents the most populous mitochondrial haplotype in the breed, but Galileo's success with members of the female line is significantly disproportionate to opportunity). Three of them descend from the #9 family through one of the Hermit/Maid of Masham tribe, as does Galileo himself.

Teofilo (TrueNicks), the first major Galileo/Danehill cross, now has first crop 4-year-olds. He's an interesting litmus test for Frankel (some concerns about Frankel's opportunities have been expressed on the basis that a high proportion of the best European mares might be "off limits" to him if breeders wanted to avoid inbreeding to Sadler's Wells, Danehill, or Danzig).

The good news on that front is that Teofilo is leading European third crop sire of 2013 and has 16 stakes winners in his first two crops, four group I, including Trading Leather and Havana Gold, who on the same weekend at the end of June took the Irish Derby (Ire-I, video below) and Prix Jean Prat (Fr-I). Six of Teofilo's stakes winners, including Trading Leather and Havana Gold, are out of Danzig line mares, and he even has a stakes winner inbred 3x2 to Danehill. He also has two stakes winners with inbreeding to Sadler's Wells, including group I scorer Parish Hall from a mare by Sadler's Wells' son Montjeu.

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