말하는 말: how Galileo and John Magnier changed the game

hen Galileo was put to sleep on Saturday morning after sustaining a “non-responsive, debilitating” injury on his left fore foot, Europe’s champion stallion for 12 of the past 13 years had sired 91 individual winners at Group One or Grade One level. Within a few hours, Bolshoi Ballet, the beaten favourite in the Derby last month, took the Belmont Derby in New York to make it 92, and by the time Galileo’s last foals have completed their racing careers – they will be four-year-olds in 2026 – he could conceivably reach three figures.

Danehill’s total of 84 individual winners at the highest level looked unassailable until Galileo came along, so you can never say never where sporting records are concerned. If he is ever toppled from his perch, 하나, it must be odds-against that many current racing fans will still be around to see it.

Galileo’s covering fee has been private since 2008, so it can be no more than guesswork to put a figure on the revenue he generated for John Magnier’s Coolmore Stud over the course of his stallion career. Even at €250,000 (£213,000) per cover, 하나, which is at the lower end of the guesstimates, and assuming 150 covers per year, Coolmore would have raked in more than half a billion euros (£0.43bn) from its star stallion in those last 14 years alone. And all he ever expected in return was enough food to keep his energy levels up and somewhere warm to lay his head at night.

It is not quite that simple, 물론이야, and Galileo’s extraordinary record both as a sire of Group One winners and as a money-earner for his owner would not have been possible before Magnier and Coolmore changed the rules of the bloodstock business almost half a century ago. The long-established practice of “syndicating” a Derby winner, usually into 40 shares which entitled a breeder to a single cover per season, was replaced by a much more commercial approach, making a stallion available to any breeder willing to pay the going rate.

Magnier and other members of the Coolmore syndicate were also ready and willing to support their stallions at the yearling sales, giving something back to breeders while bumping up prices overall, and adding all the while to the firepower at Aidan O’Brien’s disposal at Ballydoyle. Over time, this created the most virtuous of circles from Magnier and the Coolmore syndicate’s point of view, with huge success both on and off the track, and for nearly two decades Galileo has been smack in the middle of it.

Coolmore has been home to the champion sire in Britain and Ireland in every season since 1989, and while Frankel – the best horse that Galileo, and perhaps any stallion, ever sired – tops the list thanks to his Derby winners at Epsom and the Curragh, Galileo has Love, 특히, to represent him in the major races to come. A 13th stallion title for Galileo remains a live possibility.

With no obvious successor to Galileo on the current Coolmore roster, 하나, a season in the not-too-distant future is likely to see the stallion title move elsewhere for the first time in more than three decades. Eventually Ballydoyle’s strike rate, in middle-distance Classics and Group Ones in particular, can be expected to suffer too.

Magnier and O’Brien described Galileo’s influence on racing and breeding as “unprecedented” after his death was announced on Saturday. His sons and daughters will be winning Group Ones for some time yet, but the sport is going to be a different place without him.

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