Knockout Year For Teofilo

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Gear Up is a Classic prospect for Teofilo in 2021 | Scoop Dyga

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Though 2020 will go down as a dreadful year for many, it can be regarded as an annus mirablilis for Darley stallion Teofilo (Ire).

To an extent, every son of Galileo (Ire) at stud has to make do with seeking glimmers of light within the long shadow cast by the 12-time champion sire. Last year, Teofilo came closest of any stallion to Galileo's tally of Group 1 winners by being responsible for six of his own, in France, Germany, Australia and Hong Kong.

Now 17, Teofilo also played a lead role in establishing Galileo as a stallion on the up in the minds of the bloodstock cognoscenti. It didn't take long. 

In 2006, several members of Galileo's first crop made Classic breakthroughs. Nightime (Ire), who would go on to arguably even greater things as the dam of Ghaiyyath (Ire), won the Irish 1000 Guineas under Pat Smullen, while Sixties Icon (GB) led home a 1-2-3 for Galileo in the St Leger when beating The Last Drop (Ire) and Red Rocks (Ire). The latter won the GI Breeders' Cup Turf on his next start. 

Alongside all this, the juvenile Teofilo was proving to be the standout of his sire's second crop, cruising unbeaten through a succession of races which his trainer/breeder Jim Bolger would utilise with the same outstanding results the following year with another son of Galileo, New Approach (Ire). Alas, after winding up his 2-year-old season with victories in the G1 National S. and G1 Dewhurst S., Teofilo would never be seen on a racecourse again. Knee trouble in the spring of his 3-year-old year meant he would sit out his Classic season awaiting his place at Kildangan Stud.

It is probably fair to say that his own stud career has been something of a slow burn, but overall it is one which has generated some significant heat. His 12th crop of runners is currently being prepared to take to the track, among them being the juvenile half-sister to the champion 2-year-old Pinatubo (Ire) (Shamardal), who has been assigned to Charlie Appleby. The stand-out of his 2-year-olds last year was Gear Up (Ire), bred and sold by one master trainer, Jim Bolger, to another, Mark Johnston, who nurtured him to victories in the G3 Acomb S. and G1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud. Bolger's own Group 1-winning juvenile of 2020, the Vertem Fututity victor Mac Swiney (Ire) (New Approach {Ire}), has Teofilo as his broodmare sire, his dam Halla Na Saoire (Ire) being an unrated half-sister to Halla Siamsa (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}), the dam of Teofilo's Dewhurst S. winner Parish Hall (Ire).

Bolger's prints are all over recent generations of this family: the 3×3 inbreeding to Sadler's Wells of Parish Hall, the 2×3 inbreeding to Galileo in Mac Swiney. And, just as Bolger can be credited with having played a significant role in the early days of Galileo's stud career, so too has he been important for Teofilo. Another of the Group 1 winners of 2020 was the Bolger-bred Twilight Payment (Ire), his sire's second winner of the Melbourne Cup in three years. 

This alone should reinforce his merit in the minds of Australian buyers when they come to Europe and encourage them to greet his stock with the same enthusiasm with which they do the offspring of Camelot (GB). Earlier in his stud career Teofilo spent five shuttle seasons in Australia which yielded the Group 1 winners Kermadec (NZ), Happy Clapper (Aus), Humidor (NZ), Sonntag (Aus) and Palentino (Aus). The classy miler Kermadec is now a Darley Australia stallion with the dual Group 1 winner Montefilia (Aus) among his first crop 3-year-olds.

The studs of Europe are not exactly awash with sons of Teofilo. Tweenhills Stud's Havana Gold (Ire), out of the crack sprinter Jessica's Dream (Ire) (Desert Style {Ire}), was himself a Group 1-winning miler and his best offspring is the G1 Flying Five winner Havana Grey (GB), who is now resident at Whitsbury Manor Stud. Elsewhere, Mickley Stud, where Havana Grey was born and raised, now stands the substantial Massaat (Ire), who was runner-up in the both the 2000 Guineas and the Dewhurst. Diplomat (Ger) is on the LM Stallions roster at Dorset's March Hare Stud and Jim Bolger stands Parish Hall at his own Redmondstown Stud. 

Teofilo's list of Group 1 winners was boosted to 21 last season with the addition of Gear Up, Twilight Payment, Subjectivist and the fillies Donjah (Ger) and Tawkeel (GB). Furthermore, his highest earner, the Hong Kong-trained Exultant (Ire), won two Group 1 races in 2020 to take his tally to five top-level wins. 

A runner to follow with interest in 2021, along with Pintaubo's half-sister, will be the Preis Von Europa-winning mare Donjah, who has left German champion trainer Henk Grewe to join Chad Brown's stable in the U.S. And while Gear Up holds entries for the Derby and Irish Derby, his juvenile brother is bound for overseas having set a new record for the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale when sold by Clare Manning's Boherguy Stud for £325,000 to the Hong Kong Jockey Club. His sterling price tag is owing to the fact that the sale had to be moved from Fairyhouse to Newmarket because of Covid restrictions. 

As this elite snapshot shows, Teofilo's strength is perhaps that he cannot be pigeonholed. Certainly his offspring tend to be later-maturing middle-distance types, but he is clearly able to get classy runners across a range of distances—and durable ones at that—at a highly respectable rate of 10.4% black-type winners to runners.

Teofilo has had seven three-figure crops of foals since he retired to stud but Gear Up is a product of one of his smallest crops of 64. His 2021 book is restricted in number and, judging by his exploits last year, it seems safe to assume that demand will outstrip supply.

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