Open Access Articles- Top Results for Galileo (horse)

Galileo (horse)

Racing colours of Susan Magnier
Sire Sadler's Wells
Grandsire Northern Dancer
Dam Urban Sea
Damsire Miswaki
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1998
Country Ireland
Colour Bay
Breeder David Tsui and Orpendale
Owner Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor
Trainer Aidan O'Brien
Record 8: 6-1-0
Earnings £1,621,110
Major wins
Ballysax Stakes (2001)
Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (2001)
Epsom Derby (2001)
Irish Derby (2001)
K. George VI & Q. Elizabeth Stakes (2001)
European Champion Three-Year-Old Colt (2001)
Leading sire in Great Britain & Ireland
(2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
Last updated on 10 November 2012

Galileo (foaled 30 March 1998) is a retired Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire. In a racing career which lasted from October 2000 until October 2001 he ran eight times and won six races. He is best known for winning the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby Stakes, and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2001 and for his rivalry with the Godolphin champion Fantastic Light. Since his retirement Galileo has become known as a prolific and successful sire of racehorses, including Cape Blanco, New Approach, Frankel and Australia.


Galileo is a 16 12 hh (64.5 inches, 164 cm) bay horse with a narrow white blaze and a white sock on his near hind leg.[1] He was sired by Sadler's Wells out of the mare Urban Sea. His breeders were David Tsui, the owner of Urban Sea, and "Orpendale", a name used by the Coolmore Stud organisation for some of their breeding interests.[2] He was described as a three-year-old as being "one of the most impeccably bred horses in training".[3]

Sadler's Wells (1981-2011) won three Group One races in 1984 and went on to sire the winners of over 2,000 races, including more than 130 at Group One/Grade I level.[4] He was the most successful sire in the history of British racing, being the leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland a record 14 times.[5] Urban Sea (1989-2009) won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 1993 and went on to become an outstanding broodmare. Apart from Galileo, she was the dam of the Derby winner Sea The Stars, and the Grade I winners Black Sam Bellamy (Tattersalls Gold Cup) and My Typhoon (Diana Stakes), as well as All Too Beautiful (Group race winner, Group One placed) and Melikah (Listed race winner, Group One placed).

Owned by Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor, he was sent into training by Aidan O'Brien at Ballydoyle and ridden in all but one of his races by Michael Kinane.

He is one of several horses to have borne the name of Galileo. The most notable "other" Galileo was a Polish-bred gelding which won the Grade I RSA Novices' Hurdle at the 2002 Cheltenham Festival.[6]

Racing career

2000: two-year-old career

Galileo did not appear on the racecourse until late October 2000, when he was entered in a sixteen-runner maiden race at Leopardstown. He was made the even-money favourite, despite the field containing two runners each from the stables of the leading Irish trainers John Oxx and Jim Bolger. Mick Kinane tracked the leaders on Galileo before sending the colt into the lead in the straight. Although there were less than two furlongs to the finish, Galileo extended his lead fourteen lengths by the end of the race.[7]

2001: three-year-old career


As a three-year-old, Galileo was conditioned for a middle-distance campaign and was aimed at Derby trial races[8] in spring. On his debut, he was made 1/3 favourite for the Listed Ballysax Stakes over a mile and a quarter at Leopardstown. Racing smoothly throughout the race, he took the lead two furlongs out and won "easily" by three and a half lengths.[9] Runner-up Milan went on to win the St Leger and finish second in the Breeders' Cup Turf, while the third-placed Vinnie Roe won four consecutive Irish St Legers. After the race, Galileo he was offered at odds of 8/1 for the Derby. O'Brien was satisfied with the performance, especially as he believed the colt was some way from peak fitness ("[my horses]...are as big as bulls") and likely to improve.[3]

Galileo had his third race at Leopardstown in May as he was stepped up in class for the Group Two Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial. He was made odds-on favourite, and was ridden for the first and only time by Seamie Heffernan, as Kinane was riding Milan in the Group One Prix Lupin on the same day.[10] Galileo took the lead a furlong from home and stayed on to beat the John Oxx-trained Exaltation by one and a half lengths.[11] Although Heffernan put Galileo under pressure before going clear, the colt's Derby odds were cut to 5-1.[12]


At Epsom, Galileo started 11/4 joint-favourite alongside the 2,000 Guineas winner Golan. The 2001 Epsom Derby field was strong, with Tobougg, the previous year's champion two-year-old, and the winners of most of the major Derby trials,including Mr Combustible (Chester Vase), Dilshaan (Dante Stakes) and Perfect Sunday (Lingfield Derby Trial), all taking part. Kinane positioned Galileo just behind the leaders and turned into the straight in third behind Mr Combustible and Perfect Sunday. Two furlongs from the finish, Galileo moved past Mr Combustible and quickly went clear to record an "impressive" three and a half length victory over Golan, Tobougg and Mr Combustible.[13] Following the race, Timeform assigned a figure of 130 to Galileo, making him, in their opinion, the best Derby winner for ten years.[14] Kinane was reported to have called Galileo the best horse he had ridden, saying, "There is no weakness to him... He is a dream to ride."[15]

In the Irish Derby at The Curragh, three weeks later, Galileo was made favourite at odds of 4/11, with Golan and Exaltation the only other horses starting at less than 20/1. Galileo led two furlongs from the finish and quickly went clear. Although Kinane eased the colt down in the closing stages, he won by four lengths from the Derby Italiano winner Morshdi, with Golan another four lengths back in third.[16] Kinane, who was winning his first Irish Derby in seventeen attempts said that he was always in "complete control", while Morshdi's jockey, Philip Robinson described the winner as "a freak".[17]

Galileo was then tested against older horses in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot in July. The betting suggested that the race would be a match between Galileo (1/2 favourite) and the Godolphin five-year-old Fantastic Light (7-2), who had won Group One races in four different countries. Such were the reputations of these two horses that the third choice in the betting, the Prix du Jockey Club winner Anabaa Blue, started at 18/1. Kinane took Galileo to the lead two furlongs out, but Frankie Dettori soon brought Fantastic Light to challenge. The horses raced together for a few strides before Galileo pulled ahead inside the final furlong and won by two lengths.[18] Marcus Townend, writing in the Daily Mail, described Galileo as the best horse in Europe and praised his "determination" and "lightning acceleration."[19]


Galileo returned to Leopardstown in September for a much-anticipated[20] Irish Champion Stakes in which he was matched against Fantastic Light again, this time over the shorter distance of one and a quarter miles. O'Brien entered Ice Dancer in the race to act as pacemaker and ensure a stamina test. The plan failed as the rest of the riders ignored Ice Dancer, who went ten lengths clear before stopping abruptly in the straight. Fantastic Light took the lead two furlongs out, and Kinane immediately moved Galileo up to join him. The two horses raced side by side throughout the last quarter of the mile, with the advantage appearing to fluctuate between them. On the line, Fantastic Light defeated Galileo by a head in a photo finish.[21] The race has been described as one of the most exciting and memorable in the modern history of the sport.[22] O'Brien praised the winner, but felt that he had "messed up" tactically.[23]

For his final race, Galileo was sent to Belmont Park for the Breeders' Cup Classic. He was racing on dirt for the first time, although before traveling he was prepared by exercising on the artificial surface at Southwell.[24] The Classic was expected to feature a third meeting between Galileo and Fantastic Light, but the Godolphin horse was switched to the Turf shortly before the race. In the Classic, Galileo raced behind the leaders for most of the way but was unable to quicken, staying on at the same pace to finish sixth of the fourteen runners behind Tiznow.[25]

Galileo's retirement was announced immediately after the race.[26]

Race record

Date Race Dist (f) Course Class Prize (£K) Odds Runners Placing Margin Time Jockey Trainer
28 October 2000 IBEC EBF Maiden 8 Leopardstown M 8 Evens 16 1 14 1:48.20 Michael Kinane Aidan O'Brien
16 April 2001 Ballysax Stakes 10 Leopardstown L 20 1/3 7 1 3.5 2:20.10 Michael Kinane Aidan O'Brien
13 May 2001 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial 10 Leopardstown 3 39 8/15 5 1 1.5 2:08.50 Seamie Heffernan Aidan O'Brien
9 June 2001 Derby 12 Epsom 1 580 11/4 12 1 3.5 2:33.27 Michael Kinane Aidan O'Brien
1 July 2001 Irish Derby 12 The Curragh 1 411 4/11 12 1 4 2:27.10 Michael Kinane Aidan O'Brien
28 July 2001 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes 12 Ascot 1 435 1/2 12 1 2 2:27.71 Michael Kinane Aidan O'Brien
8 September 2001 Irish Champion Stakes 10 Leopardstown 1 384 4/11 7 2 Head 2:01.80 Michael Kinane Aidan O'Brien
27 October 2001 Breeders' Cup Classic 10 Belmont Park 1 1386 100/30 13 6 7.75 2:00.62 Michael Kinane Aidan O'Brien


Galileo was named European Champion Three-Year-Old at the Cartier Racing Awards.

In the 2001 International Classification (the forerunner of the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings), Galileo was assessed at 129 (equal with Fantastic Light), making him the third highest rated horse behind Sakhee and Point Given.[27]

Galileo was given a final Timeform rating of 134.[28]

Stud career

Galileo was retired to stand as a stallion for the Coolmore Stud. He has operated as a "shuttle" stallion, standing at Coolmore's main farm at Fethard, County Tipperary Ireland during the Northern Hemisphere breeding season and moving to its Australian branch in the Hunter Region, New South Wales for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season.[29] However, since 2012, he has stood exclusively in Ireland.

His 2008 fee for a live foal was reported to be 225,000 Euros.[30] His 2009 stud fee was reduced to 175,000 Euros reflecting the general trend in stallion fees. In 2014 his stud fee was set at 350,000 euros.

In September 2008, he underwent surgery for colic [31]

As of the 17th of October 2014, he has sired 46 individual Group one or Grade 1 winners worldwide.[32]

By October 2014, he had sired 176 stakes winners from ten crops of racing age. [33]

Notable progeny

c = colt, f = filly, g = gelding

Foaled Name Sex Major Wins
2003 Allegretto f Prix Royal-Oak
2003 Nightime f Irish 1000 Guineas
2003 Red Rocks c Breeders' Cup Turf, Man o' War Stakes
2003 Sixties Icon c St Leger Stakes
2004 Celestial Halo c Triumph Hurdle
2004 Niwot c Sydney Cup
2004 Soldier of Fortune c Irish Derby, Coronation Cup
2004 Teofilo c National Stakes, Dewhurst Stakes
2005 Alandi c Irish St Leger, Prix du Cadran
2005 Cima De Triomphe c Derby Italiano
2005 Lush Lashes f Coronation Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks, Matron Stakes
2005 New Approach c National Stakes, Dewhurst Stakes, Epsom Derby, Irish Champion Stakes, Champion Stakes
2005 Sousa c Spring Champion Stakes
2006 Altano g Prix du Cadran
2006 Linton g Stradbroke Handicap
2006 Rip Van Winkle c Sussex Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, International Stakes
2006 Sans Frontieres c Irish St Leger
2007 Cape Blanco c Irish Derby, Irish Champion Stakes, Man o' War Stakes, Arlington Million, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes
2007 Igugu f Durban July Handicap, South African Fillies Classic, Woolavington 2000, Cape Metropolitan Stakes
2007 Lily Of The Valley f Prix de l'Opera
2007 Mahbooba f Clairwood Golden Slipper
2008 Frankel c Dewhurst Stakes, 2000 Guineas, St. James's Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes (twice), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Lockinge Stakes, Queen Anne Stakes, International Stakes, Champion Stakes *The Highest Rated Horse in history.
2008 Galikova f Prix Vermeille
2008 Golden Lilac f Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, Prix de Diane, Prix d'Ispahan
2008 Misty for Me f Moyglare Stud Stakes, Prix Marcel Boussac, Irish 1000 Guineas, Pretty Polly Stakes
2008 Nathaniel c King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Eclipse Stakes
2008 Roderic O'Connor c Criterium International, Irish 2000 Guineas
2008 Seville c AJC Metropolitan Handicap
2008 Together f Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup
2008 Treasure Beach c Irish Derby, Secretariat Stakes
2009 Great Heavens f Irish Oaks
2009 Imperial Monarch c Grand Prix de Paris
2009 Maybe f Moyglare Stud Stakes
2009 Noble Mission c Tattersalls Gold Cup, Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud †, Champion Stakes
2009 Romantica f Prix Jean Romanet
2009 Was f Epsom Oaks
2009 Windsor Park g Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle
2010 Intello c Prix du Jockey Club
2010 Kingsbarns c Racing Post Trophy
2010 Magician c Irish 2000 Guineas, Breeders' Cup Turf
2010 Ruler of the World c Epsom Derby
2011 Adelaide c Secretariat Stakes, Cox Plate
2011 Australia c Epsom Derby, Irish Derby, International Stakes
2011 Marvellous f Irish 1000 Guineas
2011 Tapestry f Yorkshire Oaks
2012 Found f Prix Marcel Boussac
2012 Gleneagles c Vincent O'Brien Stakes, 2000 Guineas Stakes, Irish 2000 Guineas
2012 Together Forever f Fillies' Mile

Noble Mission was awarded the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, after another Galileo son called Spiritjim was demoted from first after it was found that he tested positive for banned substances. [34]

‡ Gleneagles was demoted from first to third in the 2014 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère, after stewards deemed him to have interfered with the horse that finished second (Full Mast) and third (Territories). [35]

Sire of sires

Galileo's sons have begun to make an impact as stallions.


Entered stud in 2008. Standing at Darley's Kildangan Stud for €50,000 in 2015. Retired after his two-year-old season due to injury sustained as a three-year-old.

Foaled Name Sex Major Wins
2009 Parish Hall c Dewhurst Stakes
2009 Voleuse de Coeurs f Irish St. Leger
2010 Havanna Gold c Prix Jean Prat
2010 Loch Garman c Critérium International
2010 Sonntag g Queensland Derby
2010 Trading Leather c Irish Derby
2011 Kermadec c Doncaster Mile
2012 Pleascach f Irish 1000 Guineas

New Approach

Entered stud in 2009. The Derby winner New Approach stands at stud at Darley's Dalham Hall for £80,000 in 2015.

Foaled Name Sex Major Wins
2010 Dawn Approach c National Stakes, Dewhurst Stakes, 2000 Guineas, St James's Palace Stakes
2010 May's dream f Australasian Oaks
2010 Sultanina f Nassau Stakes
2010 Talent f Epsom Oaks

Rip Van Winkle

Entered stud in 2011. Standing at Coolmore Stud for €25,000 in 2015.

Foaled Name Sex Major Wins
2012 Dick Whittington c Phoenix Stakes

Broodmare Sire

Like his sire Galileo has become a sire of excellent broodmares whose offspring have achieved Group 1 success.

Dam Name Sex Major Wins
Forest Storm Night of Thunder c 2000 Guineas
Greenery Lea c Donn Handicap


Pedigree of Galileo (IRE), bay stallion, 1998[36]
Sadler's Wells
Northern Dancer Nearctic Nearco
Lady Angela
Natalma Native Dancer
Fairy Bridge Bold Reason Hail To Reason
Special Forli
Urban Sea
Miswaki Mr. Prospector Raise a Native
Gold Digger
Hopespringseternal Buckpasser
Rose Bower
Allegretta Lombard Agio
Promised Lady
Anatevka Espresso
Almyra (Family 9-h)[37]


  1. ^ "Stallions :: Galileo". Coolmore. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  2. ^ "Orpendale". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  3. ^ a b "Galileo new favourite for Derby". London: The Independent. 2001-04-17. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  4. ^ "Sadler's Wells Stud Record". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  5. ^ "Leading Sires of Great Britain and Ireland". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  6. ^ "Galileo(POL)". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  7. ^ "IBEC EBF Maiden Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  8. ^ "Espom Derby Trial Races". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  9. ^ "Ballysax Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  10. ^ "Prix Lupin". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  11. ^ "Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  12. ^ "Derby in sights of O'Brien's Galileo". London: The Independent. 2001-05-14. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  13. ^ "Epsom Derby result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  14. ^ "Galileo is rated best in the last 10 years". London: The Independent. 2001-06-12. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  15. ^ J.A.McGrath (2001-06-10). "Epsom Derby: O'Brien hails great Galileo". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  16. ^ "Irish Derby result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  17. ^ "Galileo soars high into the stratosphere". London: The Independent. 2001-07-02. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  18. ^ "King George result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  19. ^ Townend, Marcus. "Supreme Galileo is on top of the world". London: Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  20. ^ Stafford, Tony (2001-09-04). "Irish showdown takes shape". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  21. ^ "Irish Champion Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  22. ^ Scott, Brough (2001-09-08). "Fantastic holds off Galileo in epic duel". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  23. ^ "Fantastic Light outshines Galileo". London: The Independent. 2001-09-09. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  24. ^ Haskin, Steve. "Galileo, Fantastic Light Turn in Sharp Works for Breeders' Cup Classic". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  25. ^ "Breeders' Cup Classic result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  26. ^ "Godolphin sets Sakhee up for Tiznow rematch". London: The Independent. 2001-10-31. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  27. ^ "EndMaterial2002.PDF" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  28. ^ Yates, David. "The greatest Derby stars of all time - and how Nijinsky is connected to Goldfinger". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  29. ^ "Former Shuttlers Take NH Features". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  30. ^ "Thoroughbred Stallions, stud fees, and farm locations". 2006-10-04. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  31. ^ "Galileo on the mend after bout of colic". 2008-09-20. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^ "Galileo pedigree". 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-07-01. 
  37. ^ "Adelaide - Family 9-h". Retrieved 2012-07-01. 

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