Herd mentality (or mass insanity) saw around one third of NH mares go to sons of Galileo in 2020 year. Nothing in the interim has changed my view that this is a misguided approach that will do long term damage to the National Hunt breed. NH breeders should look at the Cheltenham 2021 results and start to look for alternatives.
The full listing of runners by Galileo and his sons at Cheltenham 2021 is shown below.
Hcp Gr. 3
Hcp Gr. 3
Soldier of Fortune
The results are striking for two reasons:
The lack of runners, sired by sons of Galileo who were actually good enough to run at Cheltenham
The lack of success of his sons runners. Only Nathaniel could be described as a good NH sire (and he is still a flat sire).
Incidentally, the solution is not to redirect every mare to a son of Monsun instead!
With the world in the grip of a pandemic, it may seem crass to write about something as trivial as horse racing, but we all need our distractions.
I was asked via Twitter to look at the overall performance of grandsons of Galileo in National Hunt Racing (I recently wrote about their performance at Cheltenham). As the overuse of sons of Galileo is a bugbear of mine, I didn’t take much persuasion to accept the challenge.
To make a meaningful comparison, I looked at the performance throughout the 2019/2020 season of sire sons of Galileo, Montjeu and Monsun. The numbers confirm that sire-sons of Galileo are nothing special in the world of National Hunt racing. In fact their performance is inferior to that of sires by Montjeu and especially by Monsun.
I looked at the sire standings for National Hunt in 2019/2020 for the top 550 sires from the Racing Post website. I then extracted and aggregated the results for the sons of Galileo, Montjeu and Monsun. The summary results are shown below:
GALILEO SIRES TOTAL
MONSUN SIRES TOTAL
MONTJEU SIRES TOTAL
Summary of Findings:
Sons of Galileo fare poorly in terms of winners to runners and wins to runs compared with sons of Montjeu and especially sire sons of Monsun. There may be some reasons to account for the difference such as a younger age profile of the representatives of the Galileo tribe but there is nothing in the figures to suggest that National Hunt breeders should be flocking to sons of Galileo…
Blindly believing in sire lines on the flat or in National hunt racing will lead to lots of disappointments. There are individual sons of Galileo who could be promising jumps sires (Nathaniel especially) but overall the figures suggest that most sons of Galileo are not that welcome an addition to National Hunt pedigrees. The real concern is that sending one third of mares to sons of Galileo may eventually cause long term damage the National hunt breed by narrowing the gene pool. National Hunt breeders may feel reassured in using sons of Galileo ( everyone else is doing it) , but as the Corona virus has shown, being part of the crowd isn’t always such a good idea….
Detailed Workings:Stallions listed by their placing in the sires table by earnings- figures as shown on Racing Post website on 28/03/2020and referring to UK and Irish earnings for 2019/2020 season
I recently wrote about the deeply concerning rush by National Hunt breeders to use sons of Galileo http://www.montjeu.com/archives/1122. The results at Cheltenham don’t lessen that concern.
Herd mentality will see one third of NH mares go to sons of Galileo this year. Looking at the results at Cheltenham, where Galileo had 3 runners and his sons sired 17 runners, there is nothing to justify such faith.
Nathaniel did very well with 2 winners (albeit Burning Victory was fortunate that Goshen unseated) from 3 runners. However, he is a £25000 flat sire and if you take him out the results are very ordinary. If Irish and UK breeders want to reclaim some of the ground they have lost to French breds then they will have to put less trust in the adverts from the stud farms and look at supporting a more varied range of NH stallions… The full listing of runners by Galileo and his sons is shown below.