By winning the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on April 30, Galileo Gold has added another classic to the lengthy list of honors for the Danzig branch of Northern Dancer, and this grand-looking chestnut colt has gained further accolades for the already massive honors for the great sire Galileo (by Sadler’s Wells), as the broodmare sire of the classic winner.

Galileo didn’t especially need greater glory. Coolmore‘s extraordinary stallion did have the trifecta in the 1,000 Guineas, won by his daughter Minding over daughters Ballydoyle and Alice Springs.

The 1,000 Guineas was the 22nd classic-winning offspring by Galileo, winner of the 2001 Derby himself, but the victor in the companion classic for colts was the first for the young sire Paco Boy (Desert Style).

Standing at Highclere Stud in England for 6,500 pounds live foal, Paco Boy sired Galileo Gold in his second crop of foals from the unplaced Galileo mare Galicuix. The Guineas winner is the mare’s first foal, and she has a 2-year-old full sister to the Guineas winner named Choumicha who sold last year at Goffs for 280,000 pounds after Galileo Gold had shown ability.

paco boy

Paco Boy – sire of 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold stands at Highclere Stud for 6,500 pounds live foal and got the classic winner in his second crop

The classic winner first went through the sales ring at Tattersalls in November as a foal, when he was not sold for 7,500 guineas. The next year, the colt brought 33,000 euros at Tattersalls Ireland in September 2014.

A big, robust colt whom trainer Hugo Palmer described as a “gorgeous beast and big. He stands 16.2,” Galileo Gold had left auction valuations far behind even before he won the mile classic on Saturday.

He won a six-furlong maiden at Salisbury in June of last year, then was purchased by owner Al Shaqab Racing in a private transaction after winning again, this time over seven furlongs at Haydock in July. For Al Shaqab, Galileo Gold won the G2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood and was third in the G1 Grand Criterium at Longchamp.

Galileo Gold did not race again till the Guineas.

His sire is a striking bay stallion who was a very good racehorse. Paco Boy won 11 of 24 starts over four seasons of racing and was very near a model of class and toughness. Earning more than 1 million pounds, Paco Boy most importantly won a G1 race at 3, 4, and 5. His first success at the premier level came in the Prix de la Foret. He won the Queen Anne at Ascot as a 4-year-old and the Lockinge Stakes at 5. The horse also won three G2 stakes, was second in a trio of G1s, and was third in a fourth.

Paco Boy was one of six G1 winners for his sire, who also is credited for Prix Vermeille winner Mandesha, Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Bachir, and German Derby winner Next Desert.

In hindsight, Desert Style could be said to have outbred his own racing performance because he didn’t win a G1 event. He won three G3 races but showed enough form to be ranked as the second-best 2-year-old colt in Ireland in 1994 and the highweight 3-year-old sprinter in Europe the following year.

In addition, Desert Style was out of a half-sister to Brocade (Habitat), winner of the G1 Prix de la Foret and later dam of both Barathea (Irish 2,000 Guineas and Breeders’ Cup Mile) and Gossamer (Irish 1,000 Guineas).

As events have proven, Desert Style has been one of the better lines descending from his sire, the Danzig horse Green Desert. One of the first indicators that Danzig was going to have worldwide impact as a sire of stallions, Green Desert sired fast horses who sometimes stayed quite well but were usually suited by distances up to a mile.


Galileo – Coolmore’s super sire is broodmare sire of Galileo Gold and sired the first three home in 1,000 Guineas. Coolmore photo.

Winner of the July Cup and second in the 2,000 Guineas, Green Desert sired 41 group and 53 listed stakes winners. Among his dozen G1 winners, Green Desert sired three who have made a notable impact as stallions: Cape Cross, Invincible Spirit, and Oasis Dream.

This is one of the livelier branches of Danzig’s stem of Northern Dancer, and it goes well with Galileo. And linebreeding such as this to Northern Dancer appears to be the staple of European breeding practice, with so many lines coming down from the great son of Nearctic that breeders just have to pick those that appear most compatible and let the genetic dice roll.

With his success at Newmarket, Galileo Gold has advanced his male line another generation and provided himself with classic credentials for his second career when the day comes.

As a stallion prospect, Galileo Gold has a good deal of speed among his immediate ancestors. His dam is a half-sister to G1 winner Goldream (King’s Stand Stakes, Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp), and there is high-class stamina farther back. The fourth dam produced the top-class racer and sire Montjeu, winner of the Arc de Triomphe, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Irish Derby, and French Derby among his G1 triumphs.

Currently, the ownership of Galileo Gold is considering whether to send the colt to the Derby at Epsom or to map out a series of races at or near a mile for the next several months.