Golden Lilac Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, Longchamp, France
Golden Lilac Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, Longchamp, France

Click above to watch Golden Lilac winning the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (Gr1)

(Image : RP - Footage : France 3)


Sadler’s Wells (USA) - Urban Sea (USA)

Golden Lilac’s impressive win in Sunday’s G1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches marked Galileo’s 18th Northern Hemisphere-bred individual Group 1/Grade I winner from six crops of 3-year-olds and up - an average of three G1/GI winners per crop. They consist of 12 G1/GI-winning colts, an average of two per crop, and six G1/GI-winning fillies, an average of one per crop. They have won a total of 33 top-level races among them. They include seven winners of English, Irish, or French 3-year-old Classics (not including the G1 Irish St. Leger and G1 Prix Royal-Oak, of which he has had one 4-year-old winner each), including 2011 one-mile Guineas winners Frankel and Golden Lilac - both, as has been noted extensively, out of Danehill mares.

It’s hard to remember now, but at the beginning of 2004 - just seven short years ago – Sadler’s Wells’ stature as a sire of sires looked problematic. In the Wings, Barathea, the surprising North American success El Prado, and maybe Fort Wood in South Africa represented his best form to that time as a sire of sires. It wasn’t certain that Sadler’s Wells was even going to survive as a significant sire line. Montjeu was about to have his first 2-year-olds race (as were, in what turned out to be a critical positive turning point in Coolmore’s fortunes, Giant’s Causeway and Fusaichi Pegasus (two out of three ain’t bad) and, though the Montjeus had created a positive impression from the time they first sold as foals in late 2002, pretty is as pretty does, as we know. Nobody was climbing out on much of a limb.

By the end of 2005, things were looking up considerably for Sadler’s Wells as a sire of sires, thanks to Montjeu’s first crop which included three Classic winners: Motivator, Hurricane Run, and Scorpion. However, Galileo hadn’t yet made much noise; he didn’t have a black-type winner with his first two-year-olds in 2005, and entered 2006 well down in the second five among 2005 freshman sires by progeny earnings.

That was the last time there were any doubts about him, or the Sadler’s Wells sire line. Nightime won the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas in May 2006 and, by the end of the year, he had added two more 3-year-old G1/GI winners - Sixties Icon in the G1 English St. Leger and Red Rocks in the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf - and had the unbeaten champion 2-year-old in Europe, Teofilo, from his second crop.

Galileo’s stud fee quadrupled, from its low point of €37,500 in 2005 and 2006 to €150,000 for 2007. It’s been “private” ever since, though estimates consistently put the price of buying a season to breed to him as safely over $200,000 every year since 2008. He’s been leading sire in GB/Ire twice (2008 and 2010), and leading sire of 2-year-olds twice (2007 and 2010). Galileo’s six crops include three European champion juveniles: Teofilo (2006), New Approach (2007), and Frankel (2010). New Approach went on to win the 2008 G1 Epsom Derby, and Galileo has sired two winners of the G1 Irish Derby: Soldier of Fortune (2007) and Cape Blanco (2010). Those three Derby winners, along with Nightime and Sixties Icon from his first crop, and Frankel and Golden Lilac from his current (sixth) crop of sophomores, constitute his seven 3-year-old Classic winners. Besides BC Turf winner Red Rocks, his other top horses include two triple Group 1 winners, the colt Rip Van Winkle and the filly Lush Lashes. He already has four Group 1 winners so far among his current crop of 3-year-olds: besides Frankel and Golden Lilac, this crop also includes 2010 2-year-old Group 1 winners Roderic O’Connor and Misty for Me.

When all is said and done - in spite of all the sire analysis and statistics the likes of myself and many others come up with – it’s the horses we can identify as “household names” that set stud fees and sell seasons. Galileo has sired a string of them: unbeaten champion 2-year-olds Teofilo, New Approach (Derby winner), and Frankel (Guineas winner); Rip Van Winkle, Red Rocks, Cape Blanco, Soldier of Fortune, now Golden Lilac, maybe Roderic O’Connor, plus other 2011 Classic contenders, including Seville (2nd G2 Dante, to G1 Derby favorite Carlton House), Together (2nd G1 English 1000 Guineas), and Galikova (half-sister to Goldikova, won G3 Prix Cleopatre, will meet Golden Lilac next month in the G1 Prix de Diane). Voila: that’s why Galileo is the world’s number one sire.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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