Home' Breeding and Racing : Issue 114 February - March 2014 Contents FOR DAILY INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES VISIT WWW.BREEDINGRACING.COM 7
that failed to capture either the public's
imagination or breeders' enthusiasm both
on and off the track, the likes of Erhaab,
Shammit, Benny The Dip, High-Rise and
Oath doing little for the reputation of an
esteemed contest. Galileo not only proved to
be a very popular winner of the Epsom Derby
through the manner of his courageous racing
performances, his subsequent exploits as a
stallion now see him quite justifiably ranked as
an all-time great.
Galileo had nothing more to prove before
Ruler of the World's success in the 2013
Blue Riband, though the feat did establish
Coolmore's flagship stallion as a rare Epsom
Derby winner to have sired an Epsom Derby
winner not once but two-times over. However,
the achievement did come in a season that
also saw a select group of the world's premier
Classic winners substantially furthering their
own reputations as genuine sources of top-
class racing progeny.
Last year ended with no fewer than four
recent winners of the Epsom Derby at
the forefront of international racing like
ver y seldom witnessed before. In addition
to Galileo living right up to his peerless
standards, High Chaparral, Motivator and
New Approach also enjoyed a stellar 2013.
Just one season after losing his
internationally celebrated son So You Think
to stud commitments, High Chaparral was
again responsible for an exceptional colt in the
northern hemisphere as well as Australasia's
champion 3-year-old at virtually the very
same time. Within a matter of months,
Toronado established himself as Britain's very
finest performer with a handful of staggering
performances over a mile, just as his paternal
half-brother It's A Dundeel was doing likewise
in this corner of the thoroughbred world.
Motivator, too, came up with a quite
outstanding racehorse – the world's co-
highest rated runner, Treve, no less. The filly's
acclaimed sequence of Gr1 victories - viz.
French Oaks, Prix Vermeille and Prix de l'Arc
de Triomphe - in four unbeaten starts as a
3-year-old saw her ranked the equal of the
one and only Black Caviar and ahead of every
other racehorse on the planet.
For his part, New Approach not only sired
the 2013 Newmarket 2000 Guineas winner
Dawn Approach but also the 2013 Epsom
Oaks heroine Talent. With just two crops of
racing age the initial Blue Riband winning son
of Galileo achieved results not witnessed in
The combined stud accomplishments of
the Epsom Derby-winning quartet cannot
not be overstated. Besides Galileo winning
yet another GB-Ire sires championship, High
Chaparral, Motivator and New Approach were
responsible for the highest-rated racehorses
in France, Great Britain, Ireland and New
Zealand. It's a colossal degree of achievement
serving as testimony to the enduring nature of
an ageless Classic.
Coolmore stud general manager Christy
Grassick has more first-hand knowledge of
standing Epsom Derby winners than most
stallion masters of recent time. The past
dozen years have seen him welcome Galileo,
High Chaparral, Pour Moi and Camelot
through the famous gates in Fethard, with
Ruler of the World destined to follow suit.
Consequently, Grassick knows more than
anyone about the relevance of an Epsom
Derby victory on the CV of a young stallion
prospect of this present day.
When asked if it is fair to suggest that
the Epsom Derby is the pinnacle for the
Ballydoyle-Coolmore operation, Grassick
couldn't possibly be more succinct. "In a
word, yes," is his response. "It's the ultimate
test of the young 3-year-old, requiring a
unique blend of speed, stamina, balance
and temperament," he then elaborates when
asked the rather obvious follow-up question.
One of the most respected authorities
on world thoroughbred affairs, Grassick
acknowledges that the reputation of the
Epsom Derby hasn't always been what it is
today. However, he's one of many professional
folk who are convinced that Galileo has played
a massive part in turning impressions around
with the assistance of High Chaparral and
company in more recent seasons.
"For us it's always been a great race. There
will always be cycles [when winners don't
make as much impact], but of the eight Derby
winners from Galileo onwards, five sired
Gr1 winners in 2013 and all five are from the
Sadler's Wells line.
"The success of Galileo and High
Chaparral has certainly re-instilled breeders
with confidence in the merit of the Derby.
And although Montjeu didn't run at Epsom
himself, he was a French and Irish Derby
winner who also went on to do great things
at stud by siring four Epsom Derby winners."
Grassick's latest priority has been to assist
in laying the foundations for the stud career
of 2012 Epsom Derby winner Camelot.
The veteran studmaster reports that things
could not have gone much better for the
newcomer's debut season and that Coolmore
could hardly have hoped for a healthier
climate in which to launch the latest Blue
Riband winner commencing stud service.
"We are delighted but not surprised by
the overwhelming support he has received,"
Grassick declared when questioned on the
level of interest. "Camelot is a beautiful horse
to look at and he was a very special racehorse.
He was European Champion at both 2 and 3
years and it was just unfortunate that he was
deprived of the elusive Triple Crown."
Grassick says that Pour Moi, Coolmore's
2011 Epsom Derby winner, received a very
similar reception to that of Camelot in
his debut season two years earlier, though
he contends that it could have even been
"It was a pity breeders didn't get a chance
to see Pour Moi in the 'Arc for which he
was favourite before sustaining an injury.
However, he has received very good support
and had the highest [sales] average of all the
sires in Europe with their first foals last year."
Grassick's reference to the 2013 European
foal sale results reflects the regard being
shown by the current global bloodstock
industry for the stock of more recent Epsom
Derby winners. He feels demand is being
driven from all parts of the world and offers
sound reason for it happening.
Arrowfield’s Australian Derby
winner It’s A Dundeel
“It seems that it is still the Epsom Derby that sets the
benchmark for our international pursuit...”
Links Archive Issue 113 December 2013-January 2014 Issue 115 March-April Navigation Previous Page Next Page