Shock loss of star thoroughbred sire Galileo at 23

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Leading thoroughbred sire Galileo has died at the age of 23.
Galileo (1998-2021). © Coolmore Stud

Champion thoroughbred sire Galileo has been euthanised at the age of 23 following a chronic, non-responsive, debilitating injury to his offside fore foot.

Galileo was euthanised on humane grounds on July 10. He was reported to have had surgery on the foot earlier in the year.

The sire of 91 individual Group One winners, Galileo has had a far-reaching impact on the breed, with no less than 20 of his sons having sired Group One winners, headed by the great Frankel. His stud fee was by arrangement, and was thought to have ranged between €250,000 and €600,000.

By Sadler’s Wells and out of Gr.1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2400m) heroine Urban Sea, Galileo was unbeaten in his first six starts. He proved an immediate success at stud siring Irish 1000 Guineas winner Nightime from his first crop. He became the most successful Group One sire of all time when his daughter Peaceful won the same race in June 2021.

“It is a very sad day,” Coolmore’s John Magnier said.

“But we all feel incredibly fortunate to have had Galileo here at Coolmore. I would like to thank the dedicated people who looked after him so well all along the way. He was always a very special horse to us and he was the first Derby winner we had in Ballydoyle in the post M.V. [Vincent] O’Brien era.

“I would also like to thank Aidan and his team for the brilliant job they did with him. The effect he is having on the breed through his sons and daughters will be a lasting legacy and his phenomenal success really is unprecedented.”

Galileo was retired to stand as a stallion for Coolmore, and was at first shuttled to Australia to stand at Coolmore’s Australian branch in the Hunter Region of New South Wales. But since 2012, he stood exclusively in Ireland.

In 2020, he set the record for the number of Epsom Derby winners sired at five: New Approach, Ruler Of The World, Australia, Anthony Van Dyck and Serpentine. In June 2020, he sired his 85th Group 1 winner, breaking Danehill’s world record and becoming the most successful source of Group I winners in thoroughbred history.

In 2018, Frankel had finished fourth on the leading sire list, while Nathaniel finished fifth. New Approach was the sire of 2018 Derby winner Masar, while Teofilo sired Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter.

 

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