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British Champions Series stars to stud: Galileo Gold

22 Nov 2017

In the third of our new weekly series we focus on the colt who gave Hugo Palmer a first Classic success

Hugo Palmer Galileo Gold

Galileo Gold, Palmer and Dettori after victory in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas. Picture:

Career details:

Galileo Gold developed into a top-class miler in 2016 when he won the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

In addition, he was runner-up in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas and Qatar Sussex Stakes but those efforts seemed to catch up with him at the end of the year, when he ran below his best in two more Group One contests – the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville and QIPCO Champion Stakes.

Kept in training, he returned in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury – a race sponsored by his owners – but he could finish only a distant fifth behind Ribchester.

Frankie Dettori, his regular partner, was inclined to blame the testing ground but soon after the colt was found to have suffered soft tissue damage and was retired.

In total, he won five of his 12 races and earned his connections £960,000.

Galileo Gold, a son of Paco Boy, had been a €33,000 purchase from Tattersalls Ireland in September 2014 and progressed well as a two-year-old, being snapped up by Al Shaqab Racing after winning minor events at Salisbury and Haydock.

He then won the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood before finishing a staying-on third to Ultra in the Group 1 Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp.

It was as a three-year-old, though, that he came into his own.

Career highlight:

Galileo Gold’s decisive 2000 Guineas triumph at Newmarket was a breakthrough moment in the career of Hugo Palmer.

Air Force Blue, the champion two-year-old of the previous year, started 4-5 favourite to give Aidan O’Brien another success in the race but he was in trouble some way out.
By contrast, Galileo Gold was never far in the hands under Dettori and he stayed on powerfully to beat Massaat by a length and a half, with Ribchester, who was to become a familiar foe, another two and a half lengths back in third.

What they said:

After Galileo Gold won the 2000 Guineas, Palmer said: “Anyone who listened to me talk about this animal for last three weeks will have got a sense of belief that has been building in the yard about him.

“Not only my belief in the horse, but the horse’s belief in himself. I’ve heard Aidan [O’Brien] talk about arrogant horses before – like Muhammed Ali saying ‘I am the greatest’. A good horse believes that.”

Harry Herbert, racing manager for Al Shaqab, said on his retirement: “It’s a shame we couldn’t go on with his career because the horse has absolutely exploded from three to four. Everyone who saw him in the Lockinge would agree with that.”

Where he will stand:

It was announced in September that Galileo Gold will stand at Tally-Ho Stud in County Westmeath alongside Kodiac, Mehmas, Vadamos, Morpheus and Sir Prancealot at Tally-Ho.

The Stud is located on limestone land which has produced horses for three-quarters of a century. Tally-Ho has been established for more than 30 years and is recognised as one of the leading consignors of thoroughbreds in Ireland and England.

What should we expect from his offspring?:

Galileo Gold was by Paco Boy out of Galicuix. The latter, a daughter of the great Galileo, offered nothing in either of her races but she is a half-sister to Goldream, the dual Group 1-winning sprinter trained by Robert Cowell, and hails from the immediate family of Montjeu.

Galileo Gold had the speed to win over 6f and stayed a mile strongly, but never raced over further even though his trainer did not rule out a tilt at the Derby after his 2000 Guineas success. He ruled out Epsom after having his genes studied by scientists in Ireland.

Speed should not be an issue for his progeny and, depending on the mares who arrive at his door, some may also stay in excess of a mile.

Champions Series Stars to Stud: