Sadler's Wells

O'Brien: A Living Legend in the Hall of Fame

We could run the numbers, as they say. What they will tell us is that Aidan O'Brien has dominated racing both in his home country of Ireland and its nearest neighbour, where he will this Saturday be inducted into the QIPCO British Horseracing Hall of Fame.  It doesn't end there, of course. He is known and revered around the world, his tally of 419 Group or Grade 1 winners (including National Hunt) having also been chalked up in America, Australia, Canada, Dubai, France, Hong Kong and Italy. No other trainer...

[ Read More ]
12 Questions: Richard Knight

First job in the Thoroughbred industry? Mucking out at Guirys 1 in Coolmore Ireland on my year out from University. I think there were 20 foals in the barn - 18 by Sadler's Wells and two by Danehill. Biggest influence on your career? Ultimately, my father, who introduced both my brother William and I to racing. He loved his National Hunt and we spent many a happy afternoon at Huntingdon and Towcester. Later in life, both Richard Henry and Simon Mockridge played major roles in my experience and development. Favourite...

[ Read More ]
Champion NH Sire And Classic Winner Milan Passes At 24

Classic hero Milan (GB) (Sadler's Wells--Kithanga {Ire}, by Darshaan {GB}), died at Grange Stud on Wednesday, Dec. 21, Coolmore announced on Thursday. The 2019/20 Champion National Hunt Sire was 24. "Milan was a very good-natured horse and will be sadly missed by everyone here," said Catherine Magnier. "He was a wonderful servant providing top class horses year in year out." Bred by Fittocks Stud, Milan was bought by Demi O'Byrne for 650,000gns as a yearling at Tattersalls in 1999, and joined Aidan O'Brien's yard. Racing for Michael Tabor, he won...

[ Read More ]
A Classic Game Of Play Your Cards Right

The betting for the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas suggests that Godolphin has a very strong hand for Europe's early Classics, with Native Trail (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) a solid favourite and Coroebus (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) a clear second pick. However, such strength in depth brings its own complications. The European calendar boasts three principal Guineas races (chronologically, in Great Britain, France and Ireland) and the obvious aspiration when one has the two most likely candidates is to win all three.  It is a tough, albeit not impossible, assignment for one horse alone,...

[ Read More ]
Ireland Set Fair To Dominate Cheltenham Breeding Ranks

Whichever way you slice it, the green, white and orange of the Irish tricolour ran right through the middle of last year's Cheltenham Festival results. Some 28 races were run during the four biggest days in the jumps racing calendar, and the Irish raiding party won an unprecedented 23 of them. This haul included the four championship prizes, as Honeysuckle (GB) (Sulamani {Ire}) won the Champion Hurdle, Put The Kettle On (Ire) (Stowaway {GB}) claimed the Champion Chase, Flooring Porter (Ire) (Yeats {Ire}) took the Stayers' Hurdle and Minella Indo...

[ Read More ]
Frankel: The Best Just Got Better

Sadler's Wells, winner of the G1 Eclipse S. during a tough campaign as a 3-year-old in 1984, didn't take long to establish himself as an outstanding stallion (siring two Dewhurst Stakes winners, ie dead-heaters, in his first crop and thus swiftly making his aptitude for his second career clear) but for quite a long time the jury was out as to his effectiveness as a sire of sires. Ultimately, though, any such doubts were utterly dispelled. His best son on the racecourse, Montjeu (Ire), became a terrific stallion and then...

[ Read More ]
Taking Stock: Galileo, Coolmore, O'Brien and the Derby

By now you've read some of the many excellent remembrances and obituaries of Galileo (Ire), who was euthanized at Coolmore on Saturday at age 23. Any way you look at it, the son of Sadler's Wells was one of the greatest stallions of all time, as were his sire and and grandsire Northern Dancer. This dynastic sequence is now in its fourth generation with Galileo's outstanding son Frankel (GB), who is well on his way to matching the iconic status he achieved on the racetrack as a stallion, and history...

[ Read More ]
Breed-Shaping Sire Galileo Dies

Galileo (Ire) (Sadler's Wells-Urban Sea, by Miswaki), the brilliant winner of the Derby, Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth S. and revolutionary 12-time British and Irish champion sire, was euthanized on Saturday at Coolmore Stud at the age of 23 after battling a chronic, non-responsive, debilitating injury to the left fore foot. Galileo is the sire of 92 worldwide Group 1 winners-more than any other stallion in history and with the latest poignantly coming on Saturday evening courtesy of Bolshoi Ballet (Ire) in the Belmont Derby-and he...

[ Read More ]
Mourning a Kind of Immortality

Thanks to advances in obstetrics, our own species is blessed to no longer confront quite so frequently the awful paradox that routinely confronted our ancestors: the death of a mother, as the cost of new life. And, of course, even a Thoroughbred as precious and cherished as Kind (Ire) (Danehill) is ultimately always livestock, prone to the kind of mishaps that tend to school the stockman in understatement whether facing triumph or disaster. But the consolation that we can seek, on their behalf, is the same: legacy. Undoubtedly there will...

[ Read More ]
Twenty Years On: Recalling Galileo's Classic Season

This time twenty years ago, Galileo (Ire) was a once-raced winning maiden gradually being honed to full fitness on the Ballydoyle gallops ahead of his Classic season. That debut outing at Leopardstown on Oct. 28, 2000, had started with the young son of Sadler's Wells and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Urban Sea as evens favourite and ended, after a mile on heavy ground, with him 14 lengths clear of the Aga Khan's Taraza (Ire).  We've all seen 2-year-olds burn brightly in their maidens only to fizzle out...

[ Read More ]
Noughts and Crosses Behind a Dream Mare

Now I do realise that I am in a minority of one here. But while everyone else seems to perceive some unique alchemy between Galileo (Ire) and Danehill, to me the number of good horses obtained by that cross is pretty much as you should expect when one breed-shaping stallion is mated with the daughters of another. After all, their dams will in turn have been well-bred and/or accomplished runners, simply to have gained access to an elite sire. If we call this "selective breeding", we are surely flattering ourselves....

[ Read More ]
Taking Stock: Sires and Racing Environments

The advent of Twitter over the last decade or so has made racing results quickly accessible to fans and observers anywhere in the world, so much so that it seems that a greater number of people in the U.S. are more familiar with European racing than ever before. Back when I was a kid, we'd have to wait for the Blood-Horse magazine to arrive in the mail to scan the 10-day old European results in the agate type in the back pages. Now, we get a video of a race...

[ Read More ]

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.