The Galileo/Danehill cross.

Without hyperbole or exaggeration, he is probably the greatest living active stallion in the world right now. Galileo has had 4 Guineas winners so far in 2011, and if that was not unbelievable enough, it is intriguing to note that three of the four are bred out of Danehill mares.

On Saturday RODERIC O’CONNOR (Galileo – Secret Garden, by Danehill) took the G1 Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh. This follows the respective victories of FRANKEL (Galileo – Kind, by Danehill) in the G1 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and GOLDEN LILAC (Galileo – Grey Lilas, by Danehill) in the G1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp. Galileo also sired yesterday’s G1 Irish 1,000 Guineas winner MISTY FOR ME – who is out of the Storm Cat mare Butterfly Cove (who in turn is a half-sister to the 1999 Champion Juvenile, and now sire; FASLIYEV). If that was not impressive enough, Galileo also sired the second home in yesterday’s Irish 1,000 Guineas: TOGETHER (out of the Pennekamp mare Shadow Song).

To-date Galileo has 22 individual Group/Grade 1 winners to his credit (21 if you exclude his G1 winning hurdler CELESTIAL HALO). While the fact that 18 different broodmare sires are responsible for those 22 G1 winners is a testament to the sheer class and versatility of this sire, it is also worth noting that Danehill is the only broodmare sire responsible for more than 1 of Galileo’s G1 winers. In fact Danehill is responsible for 5 of his G1 winners to-date.

With an impressive 90 individual stakes winners thus far to his credit, the Danehill influence in Galileo’s progeny still stands out above the best of the rest: Danehill mares are responsible for 10 of Galileo’s SWs; Darshaan mares are next best with 6 SWs (the Sadler’s Wells/Darshaan cross has also been a hugely successful nick); then we have Indian Ridge and Mark of Esteem with 3 SWs each for Galileo. Alysheba, Diesis, Erin’s Isle, Kris, Last Tycoon, Nashwan, Pennekamp, Rainbow Quest and Red Ransom mares have all had 2 SWs for Galileo.

Galileo’s 10 SWs out of Danehill mares represents a remarkable strike rate of 16% (according to TrueNicks the Galileo/Danehill cross has had 62 runners to-date). This Stakes’ winning strike rate is approximately twice as good as Galileo’s strike rate with mares by other broodmare sires.

Both Galileo (Sadler’s Wells – Urban Sea, by Miswaki) and Danehill (Danzig – Razyana, by His Majesty) are bred on the Northern Dancer/ Buckpasser cross. Doubling up on this successful cross may be contributing to the success of the Galileo/Danehill combination. By combining Galileo and Danehill we also get line breeding to Northern Dancer and we reinforce the important influence of Northern Dancer’s dam Natalma, as Danehill’s second Dam (Spring Adieu, by Buckpasser) is out of Natalma (Native Dancer – Almahmoud, by Mahmoud).

Galileo, bay 1998, 16.05hh, Sadler’s Wells – Urban Sea, by Miswaki. A Champion 3yr old and winner of the Derby, Irish Derby, and the “King George”, Galileo was Champion Sire in 2008 and 2010. He stands at Coolmore Stud, Ireland; his 2011 fee was listed as Private.