Updated: Aug 9
Already a successful young sire, Galileo Gold scaled Group 1 heights on Sunday as his son Ebro River captured the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh, the first European Group 1 juvenile race of the season.
Fittingly, the colt carries the colours of Al Shaqab Racing and is trained by Hugo Palmer, the connections behind Galileo Gold's own Classic career. Added to that, he was also bred here at Tally-Ho Stud and sold through our draft as a yearling.
Galileo Gold's first winner when striking at Doncaster, Ebro River has danced every dance since then, becoming his sire's first stakes winner in the Listed National Stakes at Sandown Park before running placed in the July and Richmond Stakes.
Allowed to bowl along in front by Shane Foley on this occasion, Ebro River faced strong challenges from Dr Zempf and Go Bears Go but showed great determination to overhaul that pair and win going away by three-quarters of a length (pictured above: photo Healy Racing).
Al Shaqab Racing's chief operating officer Paul Hensey was understandably thrilled with the result.
"Having a Group 1 winner is out of this world," he said. "It's great.
"We purchased a good number of yearlings last autumn including this fella - Charlie Gordon-Watson picked up this guy at Book 2 and he was bred by Tally-Ho Stud, so it's great. He's never run a bad race. He's danced every dance - he ran well at Newmarket, Goodwood and Royal Ascot, and he's run another fantastic race here today.
"We probably came out of Goodwood [when fourth in the Richmond Stakes] thinking that we would give him a little break but Hugo was adamant that he was bouncing and he was keen to come here. Then the rain came a little this week and so a lot of things fell his way. There was a slight change in tactics today as well in that he let him bowl him along in front. He relaxed very well in front and he got the 6f well, so it all worked out."
Shane Foley paid tribute to the colt's talent and attitude. "He did things right," he said. "We were skipping along for the first half and he has done well to stay going but in fairness I had a willing partner.
"It was an ideal day to roll forward and it all came together. When I got stuck into him he kept going, he was very willing and he was going away again at the line. He's a horse with a lot of talent and he felt like he would get 7f, no problem."
Ebro River was purchased for 75,000gns out of the Tally-Ho Stud draft at Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Sale by Charlie Gordon-Watson. He is the most accomplished runner out of Soft Power, a winning Balmont half-sister to the Listed-placed Key Rose and to the dam of top sprinter Slade Power.
Galileo Gold has made a brilliant start to his stud career as the sire of three stakes winners. In addition to Ebro River, he has been represented by Oscula, who made all to take the Group 3 Prix Six Perfections at Deauville earlier in the week, and the Empress Stakes scorer System.
Galileo Gold was an excellent performer for Hugo Palmer himself, winning five races including the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at two and the Group 1 2,000 Guineas and St. James's Palace Stakes at three. A tough miler, he was also placed in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and Sussex Stakes.