“How Many Can I Have?” – Breeders Queue Up To Use Galiway

Galiway | Zuzanna Lupa

When Sunway (Fr) (Galiway {GB}) wrapped up his two-year-old season with a win in the G1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud, it was both a confirmation that his sire's early success was no fluke, and that his breeder has an uncanny knack at stallion-making.

In 2007, Guy Pariente took a gamble on a horse no one else wanted to stand at stud and built an entire farm around him. Within a few years, Kendargent was one of the most popular stallions in France. So when he came up with another unheralded horse a few years later in Galiway, people said lightning couldn't strike twice.

But after producing Sealiway (Fr)-a Group 1 winner at two and three, and now a popular stallion at stud–Galiway is back with a Classic prospect in his full-brother Sunway (Fr). The siblings are out of the Kendargent mare Kensea (Fr). Pariente, it would appear, is not only a stallion maker, but a stallion breeder as well.

The backstories of both Kendargent and Galiway are similar; Kendargent won two races, was second in the G3 Prix Paul de Moussac, and fourth in the G1 Prix Jean Prat. Galiway also won two races, was twice Group-placed, was fifth in the G1 Prix du Jockey Club, and won a Listed race in his final start at three. There were undoubtedly more than a few eyes rolling when Pariente proclaimed his faith in each of them. Now they're not only working, they're working together.

Galiway was raced by Wertheimer & Frere, and was sidelined by a tendon problem at three. He was within 48 hours of being castrated in order to be brought back to the races as a four-year-old when Pariente stepped in with an offer to buy him and stand him at stud.

“He has the type of profile that Mr. Pariente really likes,” said Sally Ann Grassick, who serves as an international representative for Haras de Colleville. “He doesn't necessarily look for Group winners. He likes a horse with a good pedigree, and his being by Galileo was a real attraction. But he likes horses that have had consistent racing careers, and they don't always have had to have performed at the highest level, but just to have had those positive, promising performances at a certain level. It's the profile that Kendargent had as well. He's not going after those Group 1 horses that every other stallion man might be looking for. But Galiway was on Mr. Pariente's radar from pretty early on in his career.”

Guy Pariente has become a stallion kingmaker | Courtesy Haras de Colleville

Galiway retired to stud in 2016 for an initial fee of €3,000, but after siring eight black-type winners-four at the graded level-his star has risen steadily since. Not that there weren't early doubters.

Grassick said that they did hear the `lightning doesn't strike twice' line early on. “Everybody said that Kendargent was a fluke, was lucky. He was a horse that probably should never have been a stallion. Ninety-nine percent of the farms wouldn't have stood him as a stallion. And only through Mr. Pariente's support of him did he end up being as successful as he has been. He kept buying and sending him mares. And Galiway has been similar. In the early days, Mr. Pariente had these Kendargent mares. He needed a cross that would work with them. And that's why Galiway worked so well. But you can say that he's lucky and you can say that he has the Midas touch and all of those things, but Galiway is the proof. He's come out with another good stallion. He's been so popular and has surpassed what we achieved with Kendargent, which was already unbelievable. But now to have a stallion like Galiway standing here, and the breeders that are supporting him, the mares that are coming to him, it's just gone from strength to strength.”

Kendargent | Zuzanna Lupa

From Galiway's first crop, he not only had a Group 1 winner on the Flat in Sealiway, but one over hurdles as well in Vauban. He's the rare higher-echelon stallion who is equally popular with Flat and National Hunt breeders.

“Sealiway really put Galiway on the map, but the fact that he's backing it up with other horses is now making people sit up and pay attention and take note and want to send him mares,” said Grassick.

His 2024 book is shaping up to be his biggest yet, and is expected to top the 169 mares he covered in 2021 and the 170 he serviced in 2022. Those 2022 foals will hit the track this year, and are from his strongest groups of mares to date.

“We've got some really, really nice mares, but also the support from the breeders,” said Grassick. “You know, we've got the Aga Khan, we've also got the Wertheimers sending mares, and we've outside mares coming from international breeders that have never used our stallions before-top-level breeders. Mr. Pariente is very keen on making him a success internationally. So he feels very strongly about encouraging more foreign breeders to come to France and use Galiway. And so now we have people coming and asking, `how many can I have?' And that's that's a nice problem to have.”

But a horse for the Classics could bring a whole other level of success.

G1 Criterium International Winner Sunway | Scoop-Dyga

“Sunway is a horse that we were always massively excited about,” said Grassick. “But I'll be honest, I never thought he was going to be a true two-year-old. Having seen him as a yearling, I always thought his best was to come as a three-year-old. I was in Doncaster when he was second in the Champagne Stakes last year and I actually messaged Mr. Pariente and said whatever this horse does here is just a bonus, because looking at him next to the other two-year-olds walking around the parade ring, he didn't look the finished article yet. Yet he came out and put up a really good performance that day and then went on and won the Criterium International, so I think this will really be his year.”

Now two-for-four, with that second in the Champagne S., Sunway is being pointed to either the April 7 G3 Prix la Force or the April 14 G3 Prix Fontainebleau at Longchamp. “David Menusier has never hidden what he thinks of this horse. He's called him his Classic hope since halfway through last year. He's just he's a really nice horse and he's just developing and getting stronger and stronger. Mr. Pariente always wanted this to be an international farm. So to then have them performing and racing on the track and having people pay attention and want to come and talk to us about our stallions is is really the end goal for him.”

Kendargent is a sire of sires himself, of course, with Goken (Fr) standing alongside him at Haras de Colleville. In 2023, he was the leading French-based sire of two-year-olds in France by earnings and by percentage of winners to runners (67%). He is the sire of 12 black type horses including Zorken (Fr), a dual Listed-winning two-year-old in 2023, as well as Go Athletico (Fr) and Fang (Fr), both Group 3 winners this year. And of course, he was also owned and bred by Pariente, and stands at Colleville for €15,000.

The fact that pinhookers are coming to France and buying Galiway's foals and then bringing them home to sell at the Irish and English sales is rewarding for the Colleville team, who found primarily French success with Kendargent.

“That's huge for a farm that was started only in 2007,” said Grassick, “and was started by a man who had a horse that he believed in. He bought him to be a racehorse, and he believed in him to be a stallion, and decided to stand him himself when no one else wanted to stand him. So now it's massive for us to have that demand and have people coming, especially to try and buy progeny of Galiway. It really cements what we've done, not just with Kendargent, but now continuing it on with Galiway. It wasn't just potluck. It wasn't a one-trick pony.”

From an initial fee of €3,000 in his first year at stud in 2016, Galiway now commands 10 times that amount.

“I think that the world is his oyster at the moment,” said Grassick. “He's had such success with the crops he's had to date, and it can only get better as he's got bigger crops, but also better quality crops to come. He's got more support than ever before from from really top breeders. For Mr. Pariente, the objective of being a top breeder is huge for him in its own right. But then to be so popular and in demand with all these top breeders, when you've only started your farm in the last 17 years or so, it's a big compliment that all of these breeders going back generations now want to come in and use your stallion. It's a really exciting time to be part of the team with Galiway.”

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