Galileo Claims Ninth Sires' Championship


Galileo is closing in on Sadler's Wells's record of 14 sire championships | Emma Berry


In earning his ninth champion sire title in 2017, Galileo (Ire) hasn't just got the better of some extremely decent fellow stallions in Europe, he has once again completely routed them.

In 2015, there was a deficit of 'only' just over £3 million in prize-money between him and his now-perennial runner-up Dubawi (Ire) but the last two years have seen Galileo stretch farther and farther clear, each time earning more than double the tally accrued by Darley's flagbearer.

This year, Galileo's 113 winners, including 47 black-type winners at a rate of 13.9% of his starters, have helped him to total earnings of £15,145,613. His highest earner of the year, the G1 Coral-Eclipse S. and G1 Juddmonte International winner Ulysses (Ire), who joins the Cheveley Park Stud roster in 2018, was one of 12 Group 1 winners for his sire throughout the year.

Dubawi has the misfortune of being to Galileo the equine equivalent of Richard Johnson to AP McCoy. Take Galileo out of the mix and Dubawi is by almost all measures an excellent stallion. His eight Group 1 winners in 2017 and 30 black-type winners put him a long way ahead of any of his nearest rivals beneath him in the table.

Dubawi is four crops of racing age behind Galileo so a direct comparison is unfair when it comes to their respective influence as broodmare sires. However, this is an area in which one would hope to see some progress made by Dubawi, who has had one Group winner–the G3 Prix de Cabourg winner Tantheem (GB) (Teofilo {Ire})–to his name in this regard in 2017. Galileo features as the broodmare sire of, among others, multiple top-flight winner Roly Poly (War Front), G1 St James's Palace S. winner Barney Roy (Ire) (Excelebration {Ire}), Classic hopes Saxon Warrior (JPN) (Deep Impact {JPN}), US Navy Flag (War Front) and Wells Farhh Go (GB) (Farhh {GB}), as well as Dubawi's Group 3 winner Ghaiyyath and the GI Man O'War S. winner Zhukova (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), both of whom are out of Galileo's first Classic winner Nightime (Ire).

The impressive rise of Dark Angel continued unabated in 2017 and he jumped from a sixth-place finish in 2016 to third this time around. Both Dubawi and Dark Angel were responsible for 126 individual winners, with the former's earnings standing at £6,956,352 and Dark Angel's at £5,321,239. His 15 black-type winners included three at Group 1 level–Harry Angel (Ire), Battaash (Ire) and Persuasive (Ire)–with the two colts both set to remain in training at four, giving his sire at least two high-class representatives for the major sprint contests in 2018.

Enable (GB)'s extraordinary haul of £3,806,469, earned chiefly from her five consecutive Group 1 strikes, culminating in Europe's richest race, the G1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, was the main factor behind the appearance of Nathaniel (Ire) in fourth in the table, ahead of his former racecourse rival Frankel (GB) in sixth. But, with his eldest runners being just three, the Newsells Park Stud sire was represented by five black-type winners this year as well as the G1 Deutsches Derby runner-up Enjoy Vijay (Ger), and should not be overlooked as an emerging source of classy middle-distance potential.

At this early stage, Frankel looks to have the greatest claim to be the leading son of Galileo at stud. We know he was the best on the track, he covered better mares than any of his contemporaries, and he certainly appears to be delivering the goods via his offspring.

The mouth-watering potential of seeing Enable face off with her stablemate Cracksman (GB) in next year's Arc is likely to be debated all season as long as both remain fit and sound. Cracksman was in many ways Frankel's breakthrough horse as his first European Group 1 winner, but he was backed up by a wealth of talent, which includes the Group 2 winners Eminent (Ire), Rostropovich (Ire) and Attraction (GB)'s son Elarqam (GB). With 9.8% Group winners to runners, Frankel was just slightly ahead of even his own sire in this field in 2017.

Splitting the two young bucks in fifth position in the table is Gilltown Stud resident Sea The Stars (Ire) with 15 black-type winners, nine Group winners and three Group 1 winners this year. Godolphin's G1 Prix Ganay winner Cloth Of Stars (Ire) was his chief earner but Bjorn Nielsen's Stradivarius (Ire) emerged as a stayer of the highest order, beating Big Orange (GB) to win the Goodwood Cup in its first year with Group 1 status.

For the second year, Invincible Spirit (Ire) maintained his position in seventh and while he had no top-level winner, the Irish National Stud stalwart was represented by 10 stakes winner and six Group winners. The exploits of his tough-as-teak daughter Music Box (Ire) were detailed in these pages earlier this week and, among his other decent winners, his high-class sons Karar (GB) and Profitable (Ire) both hit the board in Group 1 company.

Invincible Spirit's half-brother Kodiac (GB) broke the top ten last year and has improved two places to finish narrowly behind his sibling in eighth for 2017. He is behind no-one, however, when it comes to sheer numbers. With 147 winners of 228 races, the Tally-Ho Stud star is Europe's most prolific stallion and just this week he reached a world record 60 juvenile winners for the year.

Joining Dubawi in the top ten for the Darley team is Iffraaj (GB), whose leading son of 2017, Ribchester (Ire), will be a newcomer to Kildangan Stud next season. Ribchester, who won the G1 Al Shaqab Lockinge S., G1 Queen Anne S. and G1 Qatar Prix du Moulin, was the sole top-flight winner this year for Iffraaj, who was represented by 11 black-type winners in total.

He may be trailing his high-flying son Dark Angel, but Rathbarry Stud's Acclamation (GB) had a resurgent year in 2017, in which his flagbearers were the Group 1 winners Aclaim (Ire) and Marsha (Ire). While the former has now joined the National Stud roster, Marsha sealed her excellent year by breaking a European sales-ring record when selling for 6 million gns to Coolmore at the Tattersalls December Sale.

Just outside the top ten and leading the way for French-based stallions is Siyouni (Fr), the sire of G1 Fillies' Mile winner Laurens (Fr). He is followed by Fastnet Rock (Aus), Pivotal (GB), Dansili (GB) and Teofilo (Ire).

Regional leaders
In Britain and Ireland, Galileo, unsurprisingly, still leads the way, though Dark Angel leapt past Dubawi into second place, while Frankel led the youth charge in fourth.

In France, Nathaniel was out in front thanks to his Arc-winning daughter Enable, with his sire Galileo relegated to second, and Galileo's half-brother Sea The Stars taking third ahead of Siyouni. Rajsaman (Fr), like Frankel and Nathaniel, only has two crops of racing age, and his dual Classic winner Brametot (Fr) propelled him to a fifth-place finish in the French table ahead of Dubawi, with the French-based Kendargent (Fr) and Myboycharlie (Ire) in seventh and eighth.

In Germany, Areion (Ger), who turns 23 in January, maintained his position at the head of the table, emulating his own sire Big Shuffle, and posting a strike-rate of 56% winners to runners. He was the only German-based stallion to pass €1 million in prize-money earned in the country.

In The Wings (GB) has had a major influence in Germany and his two sons Adlerflug (Ger) and Soldier Hollow (GB) were second and third in the table ahead of Shirocco (Ger). The latter now stands principally as a jumps sire in Ireland but was represented by this year's G1 Deutsches Derby winner Windstoss (Ger), who helped his owner-breeder Gestut Rottgen and trainer Markus Klug to claim their own respective German championships this year.

Gestut Etzean's Lord Of England (Ger), whose prowess has been advertised internationally by OTI Racing's G2 Herbert Power S. winner Lord Fandango (Ger), was fifth in the table ahead of the first 'outside' stallions Cape Cross (Ire) and Exceed And Excel (Aus).

Danzig's son Mujahid, who is about to turn 22, is the leading stallion in Italy for 2017, finishing narrowly ahead of Ramonti (FR).

Broodmare sires
Pivotal may have missed out on a top-ten slot in the general sires' list for Europe but for the first time he is the leading active broodmare sire, the progeny of his daughters having earned prize-money of £6,866, 609, putting him ahead of Galileo on £6,221,912.

Pivotal has a noted affinity with Galileo and his key runners from his leading daughters this season were Galileo's Group 1 winners Hydrangea (Ire) and Rhododendron (Ire), as well as Cracksman (GB), by Galileo's son Frankel. Outside this cross, Precieuse (Ire) (Tamayuz {GB}), out of the Pivotal mare Zut Alors (Ire), won the G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, becoming the first Classic winner for her trainer Fabrice Chappet.

Sadler's Wells, who died in 2011, still rules the roost overall with earnings of £8,760,257, while Kingmambo, who was euthanised in January 2016, is in fourth. With 76 winners compared to Sadler's Wells's 206, Kingmambo's earnings of £5,336,255 are impressive and he was represented primarily in this sphere in 2017 by Ulysses, out of his Oaks-winning daughter Light Shift, and Eminent, a son of You'll Be Mine, whose dam Quarter Moon (Ire) (Sadler's Wells) was runner-up in both the English and Irish Oaks.

Pivotal and Galileo aside, the only other active stallions in the top 20 are Dansili (GB), Oasis Dream (GB) and Choisir (Aus).

Dansili, in sixth place just behind his sire Danehill, was broodmare sire in 2017 of the G1 Prix Royal-Oak winner Ice Breeze (GB) (Nayef) and GI Natalma S. winner Capla Temptress (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}), while the Dubawi colt Glorious Journey (GB), out of Normandie Stud's G1 Coronation S. winner Fallen For You (GB), looks a Classic prospect for 2018.

Glorious Journey had been the co-top-priced yearling at Book 1 of Tattersalls' October Sale in 2016 and a Dansili mare also provided this year's sale-topper in Gloam (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), the daughter of James Wigan's homebred dual Grade I winner Dank (GB), who sold for 4 million gns to Godolphin.

Dansili's Juddmonte stud mate Oasis Dream (GB) is also proving his worth via his daughters, with the G1 Phoenix S. winner Sioux Nation (Scat Daddy) and G2 Richmond S. winner Barraquero (Ire) (Zebedee {GB}) being two of his five Group winners as broodmare sire this season.

In tomorrow's TDN we will look at the leading first-season sires in Europe.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.


Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.