Sovereign leads a fourth Classic clean sweep for Galileo in Irish Derby
Coolmore phenomenon dominates the Curragh showpiece
For most stallions, a Classic trifecta would be a once-in-a-lifetime achievement; but Galileo is no ordinary sire and Saturday's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby was the fourth time the Coolmore phenomenon has managed the feat.
When 33-1 outsider Sovereign slipped the field under Padraig Beggy to defeat paternal half-brothers and Ballydoyle stablemates Anthony Van Dyck and Norway it was the second occasion in which Galileo had fielded the one-two-three in the Irish Classic after Australia led home Kingfisher and Orchestra in 2014.
The first time Galileo pulled off a Classic clean sweep was when first-crop sons Sixties Icon, The Last Drop and Red Rocks filled the podium in the St Leger of 2006 and the trick was repeated when Minding beat Ballydoyle and Alice Springs in the 1,000 Guineas of 2016.
Galileo has also delivered Group 1 trifectas in the 2015 Moyglare Stud Stakes (Minding-Ballydoyle-Alice Springs again) and 2017 Prince of Wales's Stakes (Highland Reel-Decorated Knight-Ulysses), and most memorably in the 2016 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, when Found held off the strong finishes of runner-up Highland Reel and third-placed Order Of St George to score.
Sovereign becomes the 79th Group/Grade 1 winner by Galileo, who covered his 18th book of mares at the age of 21 at a private fee this year, and the sixth of the sire's offspring to triumph in the Irish Derby after Soldier Of Fortune, Cape Blanco, Treasure Beach, Australia and Capri.
All of those previous winners of the race were saddled by Aidan O'Brien, underlining once again the abiding symbiosis between Coolmore's retained trainer and the operation's flagship stallion.
Sovereign provides another breeders' trophy for the already crowded mantelpiece of Barronstown Stud, David and Diane Nagle's County Wicklow operation that has given us previous Classic winners Generous, Imagine, Flag Of Honour, Kew Gardens, Matiya, Simple Verse and Septimus.
He is the fifth foal out of the Danehill Dancer mare Devoted To You, who found only Lillie Langtry – another daughter of Danehill Dancer and a future Coronation Stakes winner and dam of Minding – too good in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes at two. She was also a head second to Pollen in the Group 3 Park Express Stakes at three.
Devoted To You has been mated with Galileo in every season of her breeding career, and has also produced the Grade 1-placed hurdler Triplicate and winners Cliffs Of Dooneen and You Only You. She also has a two-year-old colt and yearling filly by the stallion.
You Only You was bought by BBA Ireland on behalf of YuLong Investments for 240,000gns at last year's Tattersalls December Mares Sale, so those connections will be celebrating a Classic update for the new member of their broodmare ranks.
Devoted To You is out of Alleged Devotion, an unraced Alleged half-sister to Balanchine, a famous female winner of the Irish Derby in 1994, and Derby third Romanov, as well as to Red Slippers, the Sun Chariot Stakes-winning dam of Prix de Diane heroine West Wind and granddam of globetrotting high earner Thunder Snow.
Alleged Devotion was a top-notch producer in her own right, responsible for stakes winners April Starlight, Humble Eight, Royal Devotion and Thady Quill in addition to Devoted To You. Another of her daughters, the Storm Cat mare Luxury, is dam of high-class Japanese performers Go For The Summit and Shonan Mighty.
Sovereign is the fifth Group/Grade 1 winner bred on the Galileo-Danehill Dancer cross after Alice Springs, Minding, The Gurkha and this month's St James's Palace Stakes victor Circus Maximus.
Runner-up to Sovereign on Saturday, this month's Derby hero Anthony Van Dyck, is bred on a different strain of the Galileo-Danehill cross, as he is out of a daughter of another Danehill stallion son in Exceed And Excel.
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