Northern champions were shuttle visitors to Coolmore

published: 27 Jul 2015 in Pedigree analysis

THE shuttle system has been a great boon for Australian breeders, allowing access to some of the world’s great racehorses and sires. 

Two in particular who spent southern seasons here at Coolmore early in their careers are Galileo (IRE) (2002-06) and Giant’s Causeway (USA) (2002-04), now recognised from northern hemisphere use as two of the world’s greatest modern sires.

  Bred on opposite sides of the Atlantic by Coolmore (Ireland) associates, Galileo (1998, Sadler’s Wells-Urban Sea by the Mr. Prospector son Miswaki) and Giant’s Causeway (1997, Storm Cat–Mariah’s Song by the Blushing Groom son Rahy) had some success here, but nothing like the fame they have achieved in the north.

  Galileo was produced for Orpendale (a Coolmore group) and David Tsui (Hong Kong) and Giant’s Causeway for Orpendale and Michael Tabor. A London born bookmaker and businessman, Tabor has had a long and fruitful association with Coolmore and was in the racing ownership of both these Aidan O’Brien-trained horses.

  Galileo, who left more than 500 foals in Australia, has picked up the mantle of greatness vacated by his sire Sadler’s Wells (14 times Champion GB-Ireland sire, 323 stakes winners, 80 successful Gr.1) at Coolmore in Ireland to the extent that he has been Europe’s dominant sire for much of the past eight years. Winner of six of eight starts, including his only appearance at two and the English Derby, Irish Derby and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at three, Galileo has stamped his authority as a sire to such an extent that England’s respected pedigree commentator Tony Morris, wrote: “Galileo is truly a phenomenon, a ruler of the world himself and universally acknowledged as the best sire on the planet.” Morris has been one of the elite writers on racing and breeding for half a century.

  The now 17 year-old, 16.0½ hand bay Galileo from his home in Ireland has been a champion sire in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 14 and most likely again in 2015. A major source provides him with international statistics for his 10 crops of racing age of more than 1000 winners, 177 stakes winners, including 47 at Gr.1 level, of 2500 races. His honour board is headed by Frankel (dam by Danehill), an unbeaten winner of 14 races, 10 Gr.1, a European record, and one of the greatest gallopers up to 2000m in history.

  Other stars include Derby winners Australia (Cape Cross; English Derby), New Approach (Ahonoora; English Derby), Ruler of the World (Kingmambo; English Derby), Intello (Danehill; French Derby), Soldier of Fortune (Erins Isle; Irish Derby), Cape Blanco (Presidium; Irish Derby), Treasure Beach (Mark of Esteem; Irish Derby) and Cima de Triomphe (Danehill; Italian Derby).

  Last year was another big one for Galileo, including among his runners eight new Gr.1 winners, headed by Australia, a newcomer this year to the stallion barns at Coolmore in Ireland; Frankel’s brother Noble Mission, three Gr.1 wins during the year, retired to Lane’s End, Kentucky; Gleneagles (Storm Cat) a leading two year-old; and Adelaide (Elnadim), a three year-old who made who made history by following up wins in the Gallinule Stakes-Gr.3 (10f) at the Curragh and Secretariat Stakes-Gr.1 (10f) at Arlington in the US and with a win in the Cox Plate-Gr.1 (2040m) at Moonee Valley. A winner at a mile in Ireland at his only start at two, Adelaide (ex Elletelle by the Danzig son Elnadim) is to open his stud career in the spring at Coolmore in the Hunter Valley on a fee of $22,000.

  For 2014, Galileo was not only the standout champion sire for Europe on earnings, but also by stakes winners and wins (35, 50). Also, he was the most successful juvenile sire on earnings, equal by most stakes winners (five) in this age group 
and rose up to be 13th leading broodmare sire on earnings. His daughters were represented during the year by eight stakes winners, the best being Night of Thunder, a three year-old Dubawi colt, who beat Kingman (by Invincible Spirit) into second and Australia (third) in winning the English 2000 Guineas. It was the first time Galileo, albeit as a broodmare sire, had played a role in producing an English 2000 Guineas winner.

  He atoned for this lapse by supplying this year’s winner Gleneagles, the winner at two of four races at seven furlongs, including the National Stakes-Gr.1 at the Curragh in Ireland. He is a year younger brother of Marvellous, the winner of the 2014 
edition of the Irish 1000 Guineas. They are from You’resothrilling (USA), a handy stakeswinning Storm Cat filly foaled in 2005, eight years after her illustrious brother Giant’s Causeway.

  The Orpendale Tabor partnership became the breeders of Giant’s Causeway when they purchased his dam Mariah’s Storm (by Rahy) carrying him for $US2,600,000 at the November Sale in Kentucky. She had won 10 races, including six in the Gr.2 and Gr.3 class. It was immediately a spectacularly rewarding investment as Giant’s Causeway was a superstar racehorse who won all three races at two, including a Gr.1 in France, and then at three wound up his racing career with six wins (five Gr.1 in succession) and four seconds (all Gr.1) from 10 starts. Named the 2000 European Horse of the Year, he was a 7f-10f (1400m-2000m) performer.

  The 16 hand showy chestnut Giant’s Causeway started his northern hemisphere stud career at Coolmore in Ireland in 2001, but since then has resided at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky. He shuttled in Australia for southern hemisphere use in three seasons and left about 250 foals. At one stage his American fee shot up to $US300,000 (2006), but he stood on $85,000 for their 2015 season.

  Three times Champion American Sire, Giant’s Causeway is credited with having more than 1000 winners (168 stakes winners, 185 juvenile winners) of 2800 races and $150m. His 31 Gr.1 winners have included at least seven named champions, one of which is the former Darley shuttler (2005 and 2006 and 2008-10) and world class sire Shamardal. Out of a mare by Machiavellian, a Mr. Prospector close relation of Danehill, Shamardal was European Champion at two and Champion Miler at three and so far has sired 12 Gr.1 winners. His Australian visits resulted in close to 300 foals.

  The leading first season sire in Europe for 2014, his French Derby and 2000 Guineas-winning son Lope de Vega (IRE) (ex Lady Vettori by former shuttler (1996-2000) and French 2000 Guineas winner Vettori (IRE)), who carries 3fx3m inbreeding to Machiavellian, visited Nathan Tinkler’s Patinack Farm Stud in the Hunter Valley in 2011 (113 mares), 2012 (94), 2013 (115) and 2014 (141).

  Giant’s Causeway has been champion North American sire on earnings in three years, 2009,10 and 12, and had statistics for 2013 of 78 winners, 20 stakes winners (two Gr.1) and $10,287,792 and for 2014 73 winners, 23 stakes winners (three Gr.1) and $12,687,229. He was the leading juvenile sire in the latter year and prominent in the broodmare statistics with 165 winners, 12 stakes winners and earnings of $7,345,362.

  The growing influence into breeding and racing by Giant’s Causeway was demonstrated in America in April with results including Carpe Diem (Giant’s Causeway-Rebridled Dream by Unbridled’s Song) winning the Blue Grass Stakes-Gr.1 at Keeneland; Night Prowler (Giant’s Causeway-Mary’s Follies by More Than Ready) and Luck of the Kitten (Kitten’s Joy-Anura by Giant’s Causeway) first and second in the Transylvania Stakes-Gr.3 at Keeneland; Get Happy Mister (by Giant’s Causeway’s dual Gr.1 two year-old winner First Samurai) successful San Simeon Stakes-Gr.3 at Santa Anita Park; and Queen of the Sand (by Giant Causeway’s first crop son Footstepsinthesand (IRE)), winning the Santa Barbara Handicap-Gr.3, Santa Anita Park.

  On top of this Shamardal’s Turangga Stud, Scone-bred son Able Friend is the current giant of Hong Kong racing and may run in the Royal Ascot carnival in mid-June. Shamardal was third leading sire behind Galileo and Invincible Spirit for 2014, and also on the juvenile list. Lope de Vega was fourth.

  Both Galileo and Giant’s Causeway have an input into the production of new sires available in Australia this year, including Coolmore’s Galileo product Adelaide; Verazano (USA), an American Gr.1 winner by More Than Ready (USA) and from Enchanted Rock by Giant’s Causeway, visiting Coolmore; Rock Hero, Australian stakes winner by Fastnet Rock and from Gallant Tess by Galileo, Lauriston Park, Victoria; and Puissance de Lune (IRE), Shamardal winner in France and Gr.2 winner and Gr.1 placed Australia, Swettenham Stud, Victoria.

English Guineas showcase shuttlers

FOR the first time in his long association with Coolmore in Ireland, Michael Tabor has had the enjoyment of being the owner of the winners of the world’s two most historic Guineas classics at 8f. Both over the straight, undulating Rowley Mile course at England’s Newmarket, they are the 2015 editions of the 2000 Guineas (males) and 1000 Guineas (females).

  Raced by Tabor in partnership with Susan Magnier and Derrick Smith, trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, the winners are Gleneagles (IRE) (Galileo-You’resothrilling by Storm Cat), successful by 2.25 lengths in the 2000 Guineas, 
and Legatissimo (IRE) (Danehill Dancer-Yummy Mummy by Montjeu) heroine of the 1000 Guineas by three-quarters of a length.

  The 2000 Guineas was a show window for dual hemisphere use, the first two, Gleneagles and Territories (IRE) (by Invincible Spirit), being by sires who shuttled to Australia, and the third placed Ivawood, by Zebedee, a son of Invincible Spirit who is to visit Cornerstone Stud, Angaston, South Australia for the first time this year, and from Keenes Royale (GB), very modest race filly by Vinery Stud’s distinguished shuttler Red Ransom (USA). Keenes Royale was given a Timeform of 79 for her efforts at three in 2010.

  Zebedee (ex Cozy Maria by Cozzene) challenges as the most brilliant young sire in Europe at this time. He supplied 31 first crop two year-old winners last year and at early May this year was Europe’s leading two crop sire by winners and the leader by juvenile winners. His southern fee in 2015 is $17,600.

  All three placegetters in the fillies’ classic also had breeding carrying shuttled sires. Danehill Dancer (by Danehill), the sire of the winner Legatissimo, was a Coolmore stalwart in Australia (leaving international sprint star and sire Choisir) and Ireland, and her dam’s sire Montjeu (by Sadler’s Wells) was used in New Zealand from 2001-04. The 1000 Guineas runner up, Lucida (IRE), is bred on a cross of two Darley, Hunter Valley visitors, being by Shamardal and from US-bred Lura, a filly by Street Cry (IRE), while third placed Tiggy Wiggy is by Kodiac (GB), a half-brother by Danehill to Invincible Spirit, and from Kheleyf’s Silver, by Kheleyf (Green Desert). n