Australia has his day as Galileo Chrome strikes Doncaster gold
Coolmore stallion provided last year's Classic runner-up
It had been a fair time coming but Australia provided a candidate tailor-made for the rigours of the Pertemps St Leger as the Coolmore stallion shed his Group 1 maiden tag at Doncaster.
On the same day six years ago, the chestnut dual Derby winner was not in action in the world’s oldest Classic but across the water, where he suffered a painful defeat to The Grey Gatsby at long odds-on in what was to be his swansong in the Irish Champion Stakes.
With regal middle-distance breeding as a son of Galileo out of wondermare Ouija Board, along with further form including a Guineas third and victory in the Juddmonte International, Australia headed to Coolmore Stud with the world at his feet.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given those bloodlines, his progeny have needed time and a trip, with Galileo Chrome being one of his second crop, which were conceived at €50,000.
Australia provided the runner-up in last year’s Leger through Sir Ron Priestley, one of eight other Group winners to date among his offspring. They include Classic trial victors Bangkok and Broome as well as this year’s Irish Oaks runner-up Cayenne Pepper.
The distaff side of Galileo Chrome also gave cause for optimism as he made the giant jump in class from a Listed race at Navan on only his fifth start.
Bred by Mohamed Ali Meddeb, he is from a robust family developed by Prince Faisal Salman’s Denford Stud near Berkshire. His dam Curious Mind won on her debut for Sir Mark Prescott in the Denford silks and was sold privately for €75,000 at Arqana in 2015.
More significantly the mare is a half-sister to Michelangelo, who was third to Encke and Camelot in the 2012 Leger, as well as Chester Cup winner No Heretic and Private Secretary, who won the 11-furlong Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood.
Curious Mind’s dam Intrigued is a sibling of both the French Guineas winner Aussie Rules and Approach, the dam of Denford’s top-class grey Coronet, who was on the scoresheet at the highest level twice last year.
Curious Mind has also produced an as-yet unnamed full-sister to Galileo Chrome, and Ali Meddeb, a major owner in Tunisia, is also the breeder of a Dream Ahead colt produced in March this year.
Saturday saw another stallion open their Group 1 account as the fast-improving Champers Elysees provided a similar landmark win for Johnny Murtagh in the Coolmore America 'Justify' Matron Stakes.
Her sire Elzaam was beaten a whisker in the Coventry Stakes and has been at Joe Foley’s Ballyhane Stud in Ireland since retirement, his fee always hovering around its present €4,000.
Champers Elysees had become only his second Group winner when landing the Fairy Bridge Stakes earlier this month, proving Murtagh has an eye for a bargain too as he picked up the Aughanmore Stud pinhook for €28,000 as a yearling at Part 2 of the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale.