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Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Jim Bolger: the man who put Galileo the supersire on the map

Galileo: sire of 64 individual Group/Grade 1 winners, including this year's dual Guineas winners Churchill and Winter
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Imagine a racing world without Australia, Minding, Gleneagles, Ruler Of The World and, dare we say it, Frankel. Five Classic winners who may never have graced the turf, if not for Jim Bolger.

"John Magnier freely admits that things might have been different if it hadn’t been for me," said the Classic-winning trainer, owner and breeder in a compelling interview with bloodstock editor Chris McGrath, in which he discusses his part in turning Galileo from a multiple Group 1 winner into the breed-shaping perennial champion sire he is today.

Jim Bolger: an early supporter of Coolmore sire Galileo
"Nobody down there [Coolmore] was saying anything good about Galileo. I’d say there was every danger Galileo might have got sold to Japan, or whoever would have him. They can move things on fairly quickly there, and he definitely wasn’t going well when they reduced him to €37,500."

Japan's loss is Europe's gain, with the son of Sadler's Wells now the sire of 64 individual Group/Grade 1 winners, including this year's dual Guineas winners Churchill and Winter.

"It’s a belief thing," said Bolger. "If I believe that something is what I expect it to be, I will go to some trouble to prove that’s what it is. So I wouldn’t have let go of Galileo very quickly."

Bolger didn't let go of him at all, and proof of his convictions lie in the many sons of Galileo bred by him who triumphed on the track, including Irish Derby winner Soldier Of Fortune and crack juvenile Teofilo, sire of another Irish Derby winner in Trading Leather.

Galileo's progeny will be out in force again this weekend, bidding for more Classic glory at Epsom. No fewer than six of his sons are currently entered for the Derby, while his daughter Rhododendron leads the betting in Friday's Oaks.

Can he land another double?


Derby card

Oaks card


Read our exclusive Jim Bolger interview in full here. Alternatively, buy Thursday's Racing Post or download the iPad edition from 8pm on Wednesday

John Magnier freely admits that things might have been different if it hadn’t been for me
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