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Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Even four out of five Group 1 wins for Galileo maybe not enough for top billing

You'resothrilling now up to three elite winners from her first five foals

Verbal Dexterity halted Galileo's march on the Group 1s in Ireland this weekend
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Group 1 races? Like shelling peas, apparently, for Galileo - now up to 68 individual winners at the highest level after his progeny hoarded four of the five such prizes contested in Ireland over the weekend. Maybe it's just that shelling peas is not quite as easy as people think.

For while it is always refreshing when a sire like Vocalised gets his big break – as he did through Verbal Dexterity, another unorthodox masterpiece by his trainer-breeder, in the only one of those five Group 1s to slip through Galileo's grip – Sunday proved a day to reiterate the exacting consistency required to meet the standards of the elite.

First came a 1-2-3 for Dubawi in the Prix Vermeille, underlining his own standing among British sires. But then that has long been something of a party trick for both Galileo and the man who supervised his racing career, Aidan O'Brien. The Ballydoyle trainer promptly filled the podium in the Moyglare Stud Stakes, with two daughters of the perennial Coolmore champion sharing a photo.

Blue hen

But even the great upgrading sires only ever contribute half the chromosomes to any given thoroughbred. And top billing, this time, must instead be reserved for a pair of mares. For the Moyglare success of her daughter Happily elevates You'resothrilling, already responsible for Marvellous and Gleneagles, towards the status of an authentic blue hen. As such, moreover, she is only following the example of her own dam, Mariah's Storm - whose other trysts with Storm Cat produced, among others, not only Giant's Causeway but also Pearling, dam of Galileo's shock Leopardstown winner the previous evening, Decorated Knight.

Happily (white cap), who shares her granddam with Decorated Knight, noses ahead in the Moyglare Stud Stakes

Happily is the fifth starter for You'resothrilling, all by Galileo. Her first two foals both won Classics, Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Marvellous being followed by dual Guineas winner Gleneagles, who is now standing alongside his sire at Coolmore. Having meanwhile produced Coolmore and Taj Mahal, respectively a winner and placed at Group 3 level, she now has a third Group 1 winner by the age of 12.

As a Cherry Hinton winner, her synergy with Galileo conforms to the familiar formula developed with fast mares such as produced not only Frankel but both Galileo's Group 1 winners on Saturday: Hydrangea is out of Beauty Is Truth, who won the Prix du Gros-Chene over five furlongs; while Decorated Knight's dam Pearling was second over that trip on her debut in Canada. In fairness, Pearling only ran once thereafter and her brother Giant's Causeway saw out ten furlongs with famous commitment.

Broodmare sire

The impact of Giant's Causeway at stud, through Shamardal among many others, prevents Storm Cat being cherished almost exclusively as a broodmare sire. But Giant's Causeway is forging no mean reputation in that sphere himself, Gun Runner being the latest medal on his chest. The damsire of Storm Cat himself, of course, was a champion who ultimately made his biggest impact at stud through his daughters in Secretariat.

Mariah's Storm, meanwhile, was from the first crop of another sire who has since developed a strong female influence in Rahy. His second crop included Serena's Song, a racetrack champion whose own mating with Storm Cat produced Coronation Stakes winner Sophisticat. Paired with Mr Prospector, meanwhile, she produced the dam of Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Vindication.

Vindication's son Vocalised was purchased as a yearling for Jim Bolger at the Keeneland September Sale, for $560,000. Ten years later, to the day, Bolger's maverick attempt to salvage the Bold Ruler line in Europe through Vocalised reached a turning point in the impressive National Stakes success of Verbal Dexterity at the Curragh on Sunday.

Vocalised, who reeled off four wins (including two in Group company) after finishing behind Sea The Stars on their mutual debut, was provided with 75 mares at Bolger's Redmondstown Stud in 2015 but appears to have been more or less "spelled" last year. It is understood, however, that two Group 1 placings meanwhile for his best son hitherto, Steip Amach, earned Vocalised around 40 or so mates this spring.

Bet the bank

Clearly, Verbal Dexterity changes his profile dramatically. The colt's dam Lonrach, by Holy Roman Emperor, failed to win in 14 starts for Bolger; and the maestro managed only one win from her own mother, Luminous One. But the latter was in turn the result of Bolger's white-knuckle conviction that he should bet the bank on Galileo, to whom he sent Luminous One's dam Smaoineamh the same year he sent him Speirbhean and Erins Isle - who produced Teofilo and Soldier Of Fortune respectively.

How fitting, then, that the one man able to break Galileo's monopoly of Ireland's Group 1 weekend was also the man who made his name in the first place.


Don't miss Saturday's round-up:

Frankel still on the brink but second crop keeping him on a roll

How fitting that the one man able to break Galileo's monopoly of Ireland's Group 1 weekend was also the man who made his name in the first place
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