Galileo, one of the most important and successful stallions in racing history and a cornerstone of the Coolmore Stud breeding process, has been neglected at the age of 23 after suffering from a “chronic, unresponsive and debilitating foot injury,” he said in a statement on Saturday.
Galileo replaced his father, Sadler Wells, as Europe’s preeminent stallion, after his trainer Aidan O’Brien introduced his first derby success at Epsom in 2001. He’s been raised flawlessly on both sides of his lineage, Urban Sea Prix de Prix winner l’Arc de Triomphe of 1993, and made an immediate impact with his first crop of foals, which included Nightime, the 2006 Irish winner of 1000 Guinness.
He was the father of a first-time European champion in 2008, when New Approach was the first of five Galileo’s sons to win the derby, then in an 11-season streak from 2010 to 2020.
At the time of his death, Galileo had fathered 91 Group A singles winners, including illustrious Frankel, and father of Adayar, this season’s derby winner, while in all, 20 of his sons went to the Group A winners themselves, ensuring Galileo’s place as a constant thread running through Cross lineages of first-class lineages for several decades to come.
John Magnier, owner of Coolmore, said in a statement Saturday: “It’s a very sad day, but we all feel very fortunate to have Galileo here at Coolmore.
“I would like to thank the dedicated people who have looked after him so well all the way. He has always been a very special horse for us and was our first Ballydoyle derby winner in post-MV. [Vincent] It was O’Brien.
“I would also like to thank Aidan and his team for the wonderful work they have done with him. His impact on the dynasty through his sons and daughters will be a lasting legacy, and his tremendous success truly is unprecedented.”
The Galileo cover fee was subject to private negotiations from 2008 onwards, with blood industry rumors suggesting that a Galileo could cost between €250,000 and up to €600,000 to cover a single mare. Even at the lower figure, Galileo’s yearbook of about 150 horses would have brought in total Coolmore revenue of close to €40 million per year.
At Newmarket, Starman found an extraordinary turn of the foot from an unpromising position a short distance from home to win the July Group One Cup by a length and a quarter.
Tom Marquand was in need of a racing room as Dragon Symbol and Oxted, last year’s winner, shot home, but once Starman was clear, he flew up the last hill.
Ed Walker Starman of Diamond Jubilee Stakes scratched at Royal Ascot last month after heavy rain hit the ground and rewarded his decision with his first success in the first set of his coaching career.
“I’ve always believed a lot in this horse,” Walker said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself, and it’s great that this belief has been justified.
“His only flash was on bad ground and it was proven that we made the right call in the absence of the royal meeting.”