The passing of Galileo and what it means for Coolmore
Mike Deasy on the passing of Galileo and what that means for Coolmore Ireland
The passing of Galileo deprives racing, and Coolmore in particular, not only of a winner of a 2001 Derby double, Epsom and the Curragh, plus the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, but the greatest and most influential sire of modern times.
As a racehorse he won six of his seven races – one as a two-year-old and five a year later. His only defeat was his last race, when he was a head second to Fantastic Light in the Irish Champion Stakes at the Curragh. After that he was retired, ending his racecourse career with a Timeform rating of 134 and prize-money totalling €1.4m.
What then followed eclipsed his racecourse exploits.
He was to become a prodigious sire of quality racehorses, including Frankel, and was unmatched anywhere in the bloodstock world.
He was champion sire twelve times from 2008 to 2020, only 2009 interrupted an unbroken run.
From a total of over 1,500 wins, his offspring scored in over 90 Group 1 races, which include the Derby at Epsom no less than five times. His progeny have won nearly €240m in prize money, and that figure will rise. Already, Bolshoi Ballet has won the Belmont Stakes worth $1m.
End of an era
For Coolmore, it’s the end of an era where Galileo’s stud fee, although never made public, would have been upwards of €500,000 with over 100 mares covered annually, although that’s shown signs of decline as old-age caught up with him. The figure would have been around 200 in his pomp. As a comparison, the 2021 fee for Wootton Bassett is €100,000 and No Nay Never is €125,000 – both are at the top-end of Coolmore’s price list.
That leaves a sizeable hole in Coolmore Ireland’s bloodstock earnings, albeit that it’s likely over half the mares he covered were Coolmore owned. It therefore creates an even bigger gap in the Coolmore production line.
I mentioned Wootton Bassett, brought on board from France by Coolmore last year, having won the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp. He’s already the French champion sire of three-year-olds, something which Coolmore hope will be transferred to his Clonmel residency. Further purchases seem likely.
With the 2021 season being a bit up-and-down for ‘the lads’, Wootton Bassett’s acquisition and continued success with No Nay Never is something Coolmore Ireland are going to have to depend upon because Galileo is, in every sense of the word, irreplaceable.