Galileo Reaches for Greatness; Star Rises to Prove Courage in Victory

The Birmingham Post (England), July 30, 2001 | Go to article overview

Galileo Reaches for Greatness; Star Rises to Prove Courage in Victory


Byline: Veritas Racing Correspondent

As we searched for superlatives to give justice to what Galileo had achieved at Ascot on Saturday, joint-owner Michael Tabor produced the most apt and, indeed, the most accurate.

'The ultimate' was how he described Galileo, the horse whose victory in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes added courage to the qualities of speed and athleticism we knew he already possessed.

This from a man who has seen horses like Giant's Causeway and Montjeu earn their places at the equine pinnacle of excellence and whose exploits will surely be surpassed when Galileo continues his relentless pursuit of glory in Ireland, back at Ascot and at the Holy Grail of the Breeders' Cup Classic at Belmont Park in New York at the end of the season.

Galileo runs in the colours of Tabor and Sue Magnier, the wife of John Magnier, the other half of the partnership that has made Ballydoyle the training establishment of champions and Coolmore the breeding centre to rival the best in the world.

Whatever they have achieved until now, though, is only the start of what they can ultimately deliver and there is little doubt that Galileo will spearhead a multi-pronged stallion assault to produce future champions when he finally retires.

Some say that could be after the Breeders' Cup, but those of us who remember Montjeu continuing as a four-year-old hold on to the belief that Tabor likes to see his horses run and will keep Galileo in training next season.

Asked to describe Galileo, Tabor went on: 'He has breeding to die for, he has conformation, he has form and he does it on the track.'

On the track, the horse is a giant. He had won the Epsom and Irish Derbys with panache, going on two furlongs from home and being eased at the line, but the quality of the opposition here was much better than two fields of Group One three-year-olds.

The older generation was headed by five-year-old Fantastic Light, winner of the Dubai World Championship and the horse on which Godolphin were pinning their faith.

It was billed as a two-horse race and this is how it panned out. Give The Slip did his job for the Dubai contingent by ensuring a good gallop but Galileo was never out of cruise mode. Wherever Michael Kinane wanted to go, Galileo took him there.

A gap here, an opening there, covering every possible move and every change in tempo before, like a good supporting cast, the other ten runners left the stage

Galileo against Fantastic Light, Coolmore against Godolphin. …

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