World Rankings: Seven Stars For Galileo


The previous post looked at where the world’s best racehorses of 2014, according to the IFHA rankings, were produced. This time we concentrate on the sires which were responsible for the 104 horses which were given a rating of 118 or more.

The best-represented stallions among the ‘top hundred’ are listed below, showing the sire’s number of horses rated 118 or more, the country where the sire is based (if still active) and his highest-rated horse(s)

Galileo                       7              IRE                 Australia (127)

Deep Impact             4              JAP                 Kizuna (121)

Dubawi                      4              GB                  Akeed Mofeed (122)

High Chaparral          4              deceased       Dundeel (122)

Heart’s Cry                3              JAP                 Just A Way (130)

Shamardal                 3              IRE                 Able Friend (127)

Choisir                       2              AUS                Olympic Glory (122)

Curlin                         2              USA                Palace Malice (123)

Dansili                        2              GB                  The Fugue (124)

Hard Spun                  2              USA    Hardest Core, Wicked Strong (118)

Invincible Spirit            2              IRE                 Kingman (127)

King Kamehameha     2              JAP                To The World (120)

Le Vie dei Colori          2              deceased       Gold-Fun (122)

Mastercraftsman         2              IRE                 The Grey Gatsby (127)

O’Reilly                        2              deceased       Sacred Falls (120)

Pivotal                          2              GB                   African Story (123)

Sea The Stars             2              IRE                  Sea The Moon (125)

Tapit                             2              USA                 Tonalist (120)

Those who believe Galileo to be the world’s best active sire will see nothing here to alter their opinion. 2014 Derby winner Australia heads Galileo’s seven horses in the top hundred, which also include the 2013 Derby winner Ruler of The World and fellow Ballydoyle Group 1 winners Adelaide, Magician and Tapestry. Fellow Derby winner and Coolmore stallion High Chaparral – he too a son of Sadler’s Wells – is among those heading the chasing pack, though that’s a posthumous honour after he sadly succumbed to laminitis late in 2014.

Darley will be pleased to see their pair of young sires Dubawi and Shamardal high on the list. The 2002-foaled pair, both classic winners, represent American sire lines, Mr Prospector in the case of Dubawi and Storm Cat in the case of Shamardal. Dubawi’s winners included 2000 Guineas winner Night of Thunder, but it was in Hong Kong that both sires shone. They each had two horses there in the ‘top hundred’, with the former Hong Kong Derby and Hong Kong Cup winner Akeed Mofeed the pick of Dubawi’s runners and last December’s impressive Hong Kong Mile winner, the Australian-bred Able Friend, the best of Shamardal’s representatives worldwide.

Our previous posting highlighted Japan’s powerful position in the World Rankings, so it is no surprise to see two sons of Sunday Silence, Deep Impact and Heart’s Cry prominent in the list. The latter could boast the world’s best horse, Just A Way, among his runners, as well as the Japanese Derby (Tokyo Yushun) winner One And Only, while Deep Impact, who was Japan’s champion sire for the third year running in 2014, had a quartet that included Japan’s Horse of the Year, Gentildonna.

None of the sires mentioned so far are from the prolific Danzig sire line, but he’s well represented among those sires who had two horses in the ‘top hundred’. Among them is his son Hard Spun, while two more sons of Danzig, Danehill (with Choisir, Dansili, and Mastercraftsman) and Green Desert (with Invincible Spirit and Sea The Stars) underlined their standing as leading sires of sires.

Perhaps the most interesting of these, given they had their first crop of three-year-olds in 2014, are Mastercraftsman and Sea The Stars. The pair were racecourse rivals, with Sea The Stars winning all three of their encounters, notably when beating Mastercraftsman into second in the Juddmonte International at York.

Galileo’s half-brother Sea The Stars had the Oaks winner Taghrooda in his first crop, along with the wide-margin German Derby winner Sea The Moon. Not to be outdone, Mastercraftsman had a pair of classic winners too, with Prix du Jockey Club (and Irish Champion Stakes) winner The Grey Gatsby and St Leger winner Kingston Hill who was also second in the Derby at Epsom.

Besides Hard Spun, the two other American-based sires in the above list are Curlin and Tapit whose highest-rated horses respectively are Palace Malice and Tonalist, the last two winners of the Belmont Stakes. Dual US Horse of the Year and young sire Curlin looks to represent good value at a fee of $35,000 compared with the more established Tapit, whose fee was doubled to $300,000 on the back of his becoming leading sire in North America in 2014. Tapit stood for just $12,500 as recently as 2008 whereas Curlin had started at stud in 2009 at a fee of $75,000.

Perhaps two of the more surprising names in the above list are Le Vie dei Colori and O’Reilly, both sadly now deceased. Le Vie dei Colori, a Group 1 winner in Italy (the Premio Vittorio di Capua over a mile) and successful in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket on his final start aged five, died in a paddock accident before his first foals had even made it to the track. However, his three crops include Gold-Fun, runner-up to Able Friend in the Hong Kong Mile, and another good miler in Britain, Tullius.

A champion on the track and at stud, O’Reilly’s death at the very end of 2014 came as a big blow to New Zealand’s bloodstock industry given the highly succesful year he had just enjoyed. The son of Last Tycoon was represented in the world’s ‘top hundred’ by Sacred Falls, winner of his second Doncaster Handicap at Randwick in 2014, and Singapore’s Horse of the Year War Affair.

[Image of 2014 Derby, won by Galileo’s son Australia, courtesy of monkeywing]