Six of the Most Prolific Sires in British and Irish Horse Racing

Good Morning!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Today’s post is a little different for me… Recently I have thoroughly been enjoying learning more about bloodstock, bloodlines and breeding. I am no expert, but I am really enjoying researching and reading into it more so today let’s take a look at the top 6 most prolific sires within British and Irish racing – they are the top 6 according to how many times they have won Champion Sire.


Regulus
Godolphin Arabian x Grey Robinson

First up, in 6th place is a horse called Regulus who won Champion Sire 8 times, in 1754, 1755, 1756, 1757, 1761, 1763, 1765 and 1766. He was bred in England by Lord Chedworth in 1739 out of Grey Robinson and by Godolphin Arabian and after the death of Lord Chedworth he was sold to Mr Martindale.

Regulus won 8 Royal Plated in 1745 and a £50 plate and ended up retiring unbeaten to stud.

Regulus sired horses such as Royal (1749), South (1750) and Fearnought (1755). As well as producing the undefeated Alipes. He also produced a successful broodmare in Spilletta who produced an undefeated champion Eclipse who ran 18 times winning all 18 times and earning 2,149 Guineas. (I speak about Eclipse in more detail right here: https://zoelouisesmithx.com/2021/05/19/ten-undefeated-racehorses/)

Regulus passed away at 26 years old.


St. Simon
Galopin x St Angela

In 5th place being crowned Champion Sire a total of 9 times in 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895 1896, 1900 and 1901 we have St. Simon. St. Simon was bred in Great Britain by Prince Gustavus Batthyany in 1881 by Galopin out of St. Angela. He was owned by the Duke of Portland and went into training with Mathew Dawson.

St. Simon finished his racing career undefeated winning 9 out of 9 runs and winning £4,676 in prize money, his wins included an Ascot Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and Epsom Gold Cup all in 1884.

St. Simon was retired to stud in 1886 at 5 years old and he went on to sire 423 living foals who between them won 571 races and over £500,000 in prize money. Among his foals were 10 English Classic winners who won 17 Classics between them, the 10 Classic winners is the 3rd highest total of all time, only behind Stockwell and Sadler’s Wells who both have 12, however the 17 Classic race wins by his offspring ties him for the all time record with Stockwell.

His Classic winners were:

Memoir (Epsom Oaks & St Leger)
Semolina (1,000 Guineas)
Mrs Butterwick (Epsom Oaks)
Amiable (1,000 Guineas & Epsom Oaks)
Persimmon (Epsom Derby, St Leger, Ascot Gold Cup + Champion Sire four times)
St Fusquin (2,000 Guineas, Eclipse Stakes + Champion Sire twice)
Diamond Jubilee ( Triple Crown Winner, Eclipse Stakes + Argentina Champion Sire four times)
La Roche ( Epsom Oaks)
Winifreda (1,000 Guineas)
La Fleche who was sold for a world record price as a yearling in 1890 and went on to win the Fillies Triple Crown (1,000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and St Leger) plus the Ascot Gold Cup, Champion Stakes, Cambridgeshire Handicap and a 2nd in the Epsom Derby.

St. Simon died when he was 27 years old on April 2nd 1908 and his skeleton belongs to the British Museum of Natural History.


Sir Peter Teazle
Highflyer x Papillon

In 4th place is Sir Peter Teazle who won Champion Sire 10 times, in 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808 and 1809. He was bred in Great Britain in 1784 by Edward Smith-Stanley and the 12th Earl of Derby who both also owned him through his career. He was by Highflyer and out of Papillon.

Sir Peter Teazle had 21 runs in his career, winning 16 times with one of his wins being the Epsom Derby in 1787.

When he was retired from racing, Sir Peter Teazle stood at Derby’s Knowsley Stud in Lancashire where he sired a Doncaster Cup winner, 4 Epsom Derby winners, 2 Epsom Oaks winners, 4 St Leger winners and many more. He produced Walton and Sir Harry who also went on to be crowned as Champion Sire’s – Walton in Britain and Sir Harry in America.

Some of his biggest winners were:

Hermione (1791) who won 21 races including the Oaks in 1794.
Parisot (1793) who won the Oaks in 1796
Ambrosio (1793) who won 18 races, including the St Leger in 1796.
Sir Harry (1795) who won the Derby in 1798 – He was then imported to America for the highest price ever paid for a horse brought there. He went on to be a Leading Sire in America.
Archduke (1796) who won the Derby in 1799.
Ditto (1800) who won the Derby in 1803.
Fyldener (1803) who won the St Leger in 1806.
Paris (1803) who won the Derby in 1806
Paulina (1804) who won 8 races including the St Leger in 1807
Petronius (1805) who won the St Leger in 1808

Sir Peter Teazle passed away aged 27 on August 18th 1811.


Galileo
Sadler’s Wells x Urban Sea

Third on the list is Galileo who won Champion Sire 12 times and is the current reigning Champion Sire. He has won in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Galileo was bred in Ireland by David Tsui and Orpendale in 1998 by Sadler’s Wells out of Urban Sea. He was owned by Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor and went into training with Aidan O’Brien.

Galileo ran 8 times, winning 6 times including the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes all in 2001.

Galileo retired to stand as a stallion at Coolmore Stud, where originally he would stand at their County Tipperary stud in Ireland for part of the year and then move to their Australian branch in New South Wales for the other half of the year. However since 2012, he has stood exclusively in Ireland. Interesting since 2008 his stud fee has always been privately negotiated, but he is known to be the most expensive stallion in the world with some saying his fee was north of €400,000″ and suggested to be as high as €600,000 in 2018.

In August 2018, Sizzling gave Galileo his 328th European Group race win as a sire, which took him past the record previously held by his own sire Sadler’s Wells. On November 9th 2019 Magic Wand became his 84th individual Group/Grade 1 winner putting him level with Danehill for most such winners sired. After Minding’s victory in the 2016 1,000 Guineas, Galileo became the sire of winners of all 5 British Classics. Also in 2016, in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe he sired the first 3 finishers, Found, Highland Reel and Order of St George. In the 2019 Derby he was the sire, grandsire or great grandsire of 12 out of 13 runners and was the broodmare sire of the 13th.

If I name every horse he has produced we would be here all day, so here are just a few of his big winners: (If you want a more in depth look you can read all about him right here: https://zoelouisesmithx.com/2021/03/12/galileo-what-makes-a-peoples-horse/)

Nightime (2003) who won the Irish 1,000 Guineas
Sixties Icon (2003) who won the St Leger
Celestial Halo (2004) who won the Triumph Hurdle
Soldier of Fortune (2004) who won the Irish Derby and Coronation Cup
Frankel (2008) who won the Dewhurst Stakes, 2,000 Guineas, St James’s Place Stakes, Sussex Stakes Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Lockinge Stakes, Queen Anne Sakes, International Stakes and Champion Stakes
Treasure Beach (2008) who won the Irish Derby and Secretariat Stakes
Great Heavens (2009) who won the Irish Oaks
Ruler of the World (2010) who won the Epsom Derby
Australia (2011) who won the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and International Stakes
Order of St George (2012) who won the Irish St Leger x 2 and Ascot Gold Cup
Churchill (2014) who won the National Stakes, Dewhurst Stakes, 2,000 Guineas and Irish 2,000 Guineas
Anthony Van Dyck (2016) who won the Epsom Derby
Love (2017) who won the Moyglare Stud Stakes, 1,000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks
Peaceful (2017) who won the Irish 1,000 Guineas
Serpentine (2017) who won the Epsom Derby
Empress Josephine (2018) who won the Irish 1,000 Guineas just last month.

Galileo has also produced sons who have went on to be sires themselves including Teofilo, New Approach, Nathaniel and probably the most famous of them Frankel.

Galileo is currently 23 years old and living at Coolmore Stud in Ireland.


Highflyer
Herod x Rachel

In second place is Highflyer who was Champion Sire 13 times, in 1785, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789, 1790, 1781, 1792, 1793, 1794, 1795, 1796 and 1798. Highflyer was bred in Great Britain by Sir Charles Bunbury in 1774 by Herod, out of Rachel.

In his racing carer, Highflyer had 14 races and won all 14 times, he was retired to stud undefeated. Sadly the owners of Highflyer had a plan to make them rich and their plan was to breed Highflyer to as many mares as possible to bring in the stud fees. Many criticised them for this and believed they were over-breeding him which later they were proven correct when he died at just 19 years old.

During his stud career, Highflyer produced 469 winners which included 3 Epsom Derby winners, 3 St Leger winners and 1 Epsom Oaks winner.

Some of his big winners were:

Noble (1783) who won the Epsom Derby
Sir Peter Teazle (1784) – Who we looked at above – who went on to win 16 races including the Epsom Derby
Skyscraper (1786) who won the Epsom Derby
Volante (1789) who won the Epsom Oaks
Diamond (1792) who won many races including the 1,000 Guineas

Highflyer sadly passed away at just 19 years old on October 18th in 1793.


Sadler’s Wells
Northern Dancer x Fairy Bridge

Number 1 on the list is Sadler’s Wells who was Champion Sire 14 times, in 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000,2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. He was also the leading sire in France in 1993, 1994 and 1999.

Sadler’s Wells was foaled on April 11th 1981 by Northern Dancer, out of Fairy Bridge by Breeders at Swettenham Stud in America. He was owned by Robert Sangster and was trained by Vincent O’Brien.

In his racing career Sadler’s Wells had 11 runs winning 6 of them and finishing 2nd in 4 of them. In the 6 wins was the Beresford Stakes in 1983 and the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, Irish 2,000 Guineas, Eclipse Staes and Phoenix Champion Stakes in 1984.

In 1985 Sadler’s Wells was syndicated by Coolmore for €800,000 a share with a total value of €32 million. His initial stud fee was around £125,000 with it increasing in 1990 to £150,000.

In 1989 Sadler’s Wells set a world record by having 11 stakes winners in one year and in 1990 his daughter Salsabil won the 1,000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and Irish Derby which very much helped steer him to his first Champion Sire title. In 2004 when he won his 14th title, this made him another record breaker after breaking Highflyer’s record of 13 titles.

Sadler’s Wells sired 12 English Classic Winners which were:

Salsabil who won the 1,000 Guineas and Oaks
Intrepidity who won the Oaks
Moonshell who won the Oaks
Entrepreneur who won the 2,000 Guineas
King of Kings who won the 2,000 Guineas
Imagine who won the Oaks
Galileo who won the Derby
Milan who won the St Leger
High Chaparral who won the Derby
Brian Boru who won the St Leger
Refuse to Bend who won the 2,000 Guineas
Alexandrova who won the Oaks

In 2001, his daughters held the first 3 positions in the Oaks. Sadler’s Wells also sired 14 Irish Classic winners including in 1999 his sons held the first three positions in the Irish Derby.

In 2001 his stud fee increased to £200,000 with roughly 200 mares each year visiting him which increased his winners rapidly. Briefly he held the all time record for the number of Stakes winners when Roman Saddle became his 177th Stakes winner in July 2001, passing Mr. Prospector’s record of 176 stakes winners.

In 2002, Sadler’s Wells sired his 200th Stakes winner becoming the first stallion to achieve that landmark, however Danehill passed him reaching 300 Stakes winners in 2005, in which Sadler’s Wells achieved in 2008.

In 2011 when Sadler’s Wells passed away he had sired 323 Stakes winners including 73 individual Group/Grade 1 winners on the flat, also producing several National Hunt winners too.

Some of his big winners not yet mentioned are as follows (again we cannot go through every single one as we will be here all day so here are just a few):

Saddlers’ Hall (1988) who won the Coronation Cup
Barathea (1990) who won the Irish 2,000 Guineas and Breeders’ Cup Mile
Pridwell (1990) who won the Aintree Hurdle
Istabraq (1992) who won the Royal Sunalliance Novices’ Hurdle, Irish Champion Hurdle x 4, Champion Hurdle x 3 and Punchestown Champion Hurdle
Ebadiyla (1994) who won the Irish Oaks and Prix Royal Oak
Kayf Tara (1994) who won the Ascot Gold Cup x 2 and Irish St Leger x 2
Galileo (1998) probably one of his best known children who won the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes as well as going on to be a Champion Sire 12 times (so far)
Gossamer (1999) who won the Irish 1,000 Guineas and Fillies’ Mile
Yesterday (2000) who won the Irish 1,000 Guineas
Percussionist (2001) who won the American Grand National
Yeats (2001) who won the Ascot Gold Cup x 4, Coronation Cup, Irish St Leger and Prix Royal Oak
Alexandrova (2003) who won the Epsom Oaks, Irish Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks
Synchronised (2003) who won the Welsh Grand National, Lexus Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup

Also interesting to mention, in November 2007 Sadler’s Wells daughter Playful Act out of Magnificient Style wa sold at the Keeneland Breeding Stock Sale for a world record price of $10.5 Million USD.

On May 13th in 2008, Coolmore announced Sadler’s Wells would be retiring from breeding due to declining fertility and on April 26th 2011 he passed away peacefully at home in Ireland at Coolmore Stud.


So there we have it, according to the amount of Champion Sire title’s they hold those are the 6 most prolific sires in the United Kingdom and Ireland over the years. I have found it so interesting to research this kind of stuff recently so I hope you have all enjoyed reading it too! I will see you all on Monday for a full week of posts starting with The History of the Queen Anne Stakes ahead of Tuesday’s renewal!

Ten Undefeated Racehorses

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Some horses go through their career with a win here an there, or even multiple wins in a row, however very few go through their whole career without being beaten, so today let’s look at 10 undefeated racehorses!


Black Caviar
Bel Esprit x Helsinge

In no particular order, first up is Black Caviar. Black Caviar was foaled on August 18th 2006 in Victoria, Australia and she went on to be true racing champion. Black Caviar had 25 races in her career and won every single one of them, this included 15 Group One victories and not only did she achieve success in Australia, but she also won here in the UK too when winning the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2012. Black Caviar was brought for $210,000 and ended up winning $7,953,936 in her career.


Frankel
Galileo x Kind

Frankel was foaled on February 11th 2008 in Great Britain and started his career in racing in 2010 on August 13th and retired in 2012 and in the 3 seasons he was racing he won 14 out of 14 starts, including 11 Group One races. His win in the 2011 running of the 2,000 Guineas is one fondly remembered by many, he led the race from start to finish and by the half way mark he had opened up a gap of 15 lengths, he was eased up before the finish but still won by 6 lengths. In 2012, Frankel received the highest rating in the history of Timeform when they assigned him a rating of 147. Frankel won £2,998,302 in his career as well as winning 1st in the World Thoroughbred Rankings in 2011 and 2012, European Horse of the Year in 2011 and 2012, European Champion Two Year Old Colt in 2010, European Champion Three Year Old Colt in 2011, European Champion Older Horse in 2012 and in 2021 he was entered into the British Champions Series Hall of Fame.

After retirement, Frankel went to Banstead Manor Stud in Cheveley in Suffolk where he was born and has since produced some brilliant horses. On June 16th 2014, his first foal sent to auction sold for £1.15 million, Cunco – he then went on to win his debut. He’s also produced horses such as Cracksman, Logician, Quadrilateral and more.


Eclipse
Marske x Spilletta

Eclipse was foaled on April 1st 1764 at the Cranbourne Lodge Stud and to this day no British or Irish racehorse has beaten his record. He was purchased in two stages, 50% in June 1769 for 650 Guineas and 50% in April 1770 for 1,100 Guineas. He had 18 starts, winning all 18 races, including 11 King’s Plate’s, the Winchester, Salisbury, Canterbury, Lewes, Lichfield, Newmarket First Spring, Guilford, Nottingham, York, Lincoln Heath and Newmarket October. In his career, he won 2,149 Guineas.

After retiring from the track, Eclipse became a very successful sire and he appears in the pedigree of most modern Thoroughbred horses today.


Ribot
Tenerani x Romanella

Ribot was foaled on February 27th 1952 in Great Britain and is one of Timeform’s top rated racehorses of all time. He was trained in Italy and in his time he had 16 starts, winning all 16 races over all distances from 5 furlongs to 1 mile 7 furlongs in 3 countries on all types of track conditions. Although Ribot primarily ran in Italy, he also won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the UK. He won $294,414 in his career. In 1956, he was the Timeform Top Rated Horse with a rating of 142. He is the second longest undefeated British racehorse in history.

Following his retirement from racing, Ribot became a highly successful breeding stallion. He was crowned the Leading Sire in Great Britain and Ireland on 3 occasions in 1963, 1967 and 1968. He was also ranked the 4th Italian Athlete of the 20th Century by La Gazzetta dello Sport’s poll.


Kincsem
Cambuscan x Water Nymph

Kincsem was foaled on March 17th in 1874 in Hungary and she holds the record for the thoroughbred racehorse with the most wins of an unbeaten horse in the history of the sport with a record of 54 starts with 54 victories. (Black Caviar with 25/25 is the closest to her). In 1877, Kincsem won every classic in Hungary and then went on to conquer Europe with a win in the Goodwood Cup in the UK in 1878 as well as races in Germany and France. She won a total of 199,754.50 fl which is equal to an estimated €2.56 million in today’s money.

After retiring from the track, Kincsem went on to produce just five foals with two of them becoming classic winners and her daughters proving to be outstanding broodmares. Her family have proven a lasting influence on the breed, with modern descendants including Polygamy and Camelot.


Colin
Commando x Pastorella

Colin was foaled in 1905 (date not specified) in the United States and successfully won 15 out of 15 starts. He won many big races such as the Eclipse Stakes, Belmont Stakes and Tidal Stakes. In his career, he won $180,912.

Colin stood his first season in 1909 at Heath Stud near Newmarket in the UK for a fee of 98 Guineas, however many British breeders stayed away from him due to this American bloodlines. He was then purchased by Wickliffe Stud for $30,000 where he stood until January 1918, he was then brought for $5,100 at 13 years old to stand at Belray Farm in Virginia, United States. In his 23 seasons at stud, he produced 11 stakes winners out of 81 foals, which is around 14%.


Personal Ensign
Private Account x Grecian Banner

Personal Ensign was foaled on April 27th in 1984 in the United States and won 13 of his 13 starts including several Grade 1’s, which also included a win against male horses in the prestigious Whitney Handicap. She also won the Breeders Cup Distaff in 1988 where she defeated the Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors to end her career unbeaten. She also went on to win the American Champion Older Female Horse in 1988. In her career she won $1,679,880.

After retiring unbeaten, Personal Ensign went on to become a successful broodmare producing 10 names foals, with the majority being successful either on the track or at stud. In 1996, she was named the Kentucky Broodmare of the Year.


Peppers Pride
Desert God x Lady Pepper

Peppers Pride was foaled on March 24th 2003 in the United States and ended up winning 19 out 19 starts in her career. In her career she never raced outside of her native state of New Mexico and only ever had 1 jockey from her first race to her last, this being Carlos Madeira. She won races ranging from 5 and 1/2 furlongs up to 1 mile including 12 in stakes company.

After retiring from the track, Peppers Pride went on to have multiple foals including one to Tiznow, which she sadly lost. One to Distorted Humor in 2011 and another in 2012. One to Malibu Moon in 2013. One to Hard Spun in 2014. One to 2015 Triple Crown Champion American Pharaoh called American Pepper which was born in 2018. And her final foal being to California Chrome in February 2019 just 7 months before her death on September 19th 2019 due to complications with laminitis.


Zarkava
Zamindar x Zarkasha

Zarkava was foaled on March 31st in 2005 in Ireland and went on to win 7 of her 7 starts. She was trained in France which is where her 7 victories came. She won 5 Group 1’s, which were the Prix Marcel Boussac in 2007 and the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, Prix de Diane, Prix Vermeille and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe all in 2008. She also won the European Horse of the Year and European Champion 3 Year Old Filly. After her 2008 victory in the Arc, Timeform announced they had rated her at 133 making her the joint best filly or mare in the past 20 years.

Like many of the good horses you read about, Zarkava went on to produce many foals – Most of them being unraced. Let’s have a look at a few of them!

Zarkava’s first foal being by Dalakhani which was foaled on February 6th 2010 at Gilltown Stud in Kilcullen in Ireland, who was called Zerkaza who was unraced and went on to have a foal called Zeyrek by Sea The Stars in 2017 and has won twice and placed twice and is still racing which is previous race being just last month on April 24th 2021.

Zarkava also had a foal by Sea The Stars in 2011 called Zarkash, however he never made it onto a racecourse, he broke a leg during training in October 2014 and sadly was euthanised.

Zarkava had a foal called Zarak in 2013 by Dubawi who raced between 2015 and 2017 and retired in 2018, he had 13 starts and won 4 times including 1 Grade One and 1 Grade Three. He also finished second twice in Grade One races and once in a Grade Two, with 1 Grade Two third place and 2 Grade One fourth places.

Zarkava has also had Zarkamiya by Frankel in 2015 who won twice and placed twice out of 5 starts, Zarkallani in 2016 by Invincible Spirit who won twice and placed twice out of 9 starts, Zaykava by Siyouni in 2017 who won twice out of 3 starts and Zaskar by Sea The Stars in 2018 who is unraced.


Ajax
Flying Fox x Amie

Ajax was foaled in 1901 (date not specified) in France and went on to win his 5 starts including 2 of Frances most prestigious races at the time – the Prix du Jockey Club and the Grand Prix de Paris both in 1904.

Ajax is probably more well known for becoming an influential sire after his retirement from the track. He went on to produce French Group One winner Teddy and his first Classic winner Union. His daughters then went on to produce horses such as Havresac II, Invershin, Massine and Le Correge.


So there we have it, 10 undefeated racehorses. I know there are so many more in the world, but these are 10 I found to be most interesting whether that be for their time on the track or their time producing foals.

I loved researching this one and I hope you all enjoyed it too! If there are any similar posts you’d like me to look at then please do message me on social media and I will try my best to produce any content people want to see.

This weekend I have 2 posts, one Saturday morning and one Sunday Morning, both at 11am! Thank you for reading and I will see you all then!

An Interview with Eoin Walsh

Good Morning!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com. I hope you all had a brilliant final day of Cheltenham yesterday! Today I am super excited to bring to you an interview with Eoin Walsh. He has recently returned from a pretty serious injury, so I caught up with him about all things racing, including his recovery and the importance of the Injured Jockeys Fund. Let’s jump right into it!


Me: What is your favourite race of your career, win or lose?

Eoin: My favourite race would have to be when I won on Zeeband at Thirsk for Roger Varian. It wasn’t the biggest race in the world, but I rode him out every morning since I started at Roger’s and he wasn’t the most straight forward in the mornings, he’s quite a difficult ride. To actually get on him and to get a win on him was fantastic and it meant a lot to me.

Me: If you could ride any horse that you never have, past or present, what horse would you choose?

Eoin: I think I’d have to go for a horse from the past. I think I’d pick Frankel. The way he won the Guineas was phenomenal and every other race he won was breath-taking. He was just a freak. I’d have loved to have had a go on him.

Me: What are you opinions surrounding the discussions of banning the whip?

Eoin: My opinion on banning the whip is absolutely ridiculous. The whip is out there as a corrective measure and an encouragement method. It’s not there to harm or hurt the horse. All of us in racing love our animals, there’s nobody who’s out there to hurt the horse. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

Me: As a jockey, weight is obviously a huge thing for you guys, so what would you eat on a regular day? Are there any periods across the year where you can actually just eat everything and anything or is it a strict kind of diet all year round?

Eoin: For me, I struggle with my weight quite a lot. I’m one of the heavier, taller jockeys in the weighing room. A typical day for me in the summer whilst I’m racing would probably be have a coffee in the morning, a coffee at lunch time and if I’m lucky, get home and have some dinner. Other than that, I wouldn’t eat a lot. In my off time, I tend to let myself go and enjoy myself but I do have to pay the price for it when I come back.

Me: So you’ve recently came back from quite a bad injury, how hard is it to return to the sport that put you into that position?

Eoin: I’ve never really thought about retiring from this injury. It’s more of a case of wanting to, I’ve got a good job at Roger Varian’s so I just felt the quicker I got back, the quicker I got going again. We’re coming into the flat season so I didn’t want to be joining the string half way through the season when all the jockey’s key positions were already filled. I wanted to get back before the turf so I could get fit and I’ll be available when wanted for the flat season.

Me: On from that, horse racing is one of the very few sports to have a charity who do the work the Injured Jockey’s Fund do, how important are they to jockeys and the sport as a whole?

Eoin: The Injured Jockey’s Fund are absolutely phenomenal. They are a great bunch of people and a massive help to all of us jockeys and we could not thank them enough.

Me: Racing is an all year round sport, so when you do get some down time, what do you like to do?

Eoin: With the world hopefully returning to normal fairly soon, I hope that in a down time I’d be able to travel to Thailand with friends, Callum Shepherd, Kieran O’Neill and Stefano. We like to get away for a couple of weeks, let our hair down and make the most of our time off.

Me: Who do you look up to in the weighing room?

Eoin: I would probably look up to the likes of Adam Kirby and James Doyle the most. They’d be my two favourites, they’re very good jockeys, very good horsemen and two nice people.

Me: What is one race you’d love to win?

Eoin: When it comes to a race I’d love to win, I’m not going to be fussy. I’ll take any race, I’m just happy when I’m crossing the line in front. There’s no particular race I’d want to win at this stage. Just every winner matters to me, so yeah, any winner, any horse I can ride that wins.

Me: What’s your overall goal in racing over the upcoming few years?

Eoin: My overall goal the next couple of years would be to establish myself as one of the main riders for one of the big yards in town. I’d love to hope it’ll be Roger Varian’s but I’ll hopefully get my opportunity somewhere.

Me: What would be your ‘horse to watch’ for the next season or two?

Eoin: I’d once again have to go for my old favourite Zeeband as a horse to follow. I think he’s gonna be a very, very nice four year old this year. I thought, personally, anything he did last year would be a bonus towards this year. I think he’s rated near the 90’s now and I think he’ll improve further. I think he could be a class act this season over the longer distances.

Me: What is your favourite racecourse to ride at and why?

Eoin: I love riding at either of the Newmarket Racecourses. Mainly because I don’t have to travel far but because they’re just such prestigious courses and riding a winner there last season was absolutely amazing even though there was no crowd.

Me: With the Grand National coming up and it being announced Tiger Roll won’t run, do you fancy anything at the moment?

Eoin: I really hope Bristol De Mai wins the Grand National. It would be lovely for Nigel Twiston-Davies. He’s a very good trainer and I just love the horse as well, he’s just an absolute legend of the game.

Me: What is your best advice for young people who have a passion they want to follow, whether that be racing or something else?

Eoin: I can only answer for kids coming into racing, but my one bit of advice is just keep your head down, ask as many questions as you can, learn as much as you can from the older lads that have been around and just keep yourself to yourself and try and stay out of trouble. Coming into racing is very difficult for anyone, it’s not easy leaving home but you just need to get yourself around a good group of people and hopefully you can bring yourself forward.


I want to thank Eoin for his time to answer some questions, I know how busy he is now he’s returning to the saddle so I appreciate his time. For me, I think it’s incredible how strong jockeys are, mentally and physically. If I had been hit with an injury as severe as Eoin’s, I don’t know if I could come back and have the mindset that Eoin has but also other jockeys have too. I think it’s a testament to their strength when jockeys can come back and normally they’re better and stronger than ever when they do so.

I have had a busy two weeks on my website with 9 posts in 12 days and I have absolutely loved it, I hope you’ve all enjoyed the past 2 weeks posts and I will see you all on Wednesday evening at 6pm for my next one!

Galileo: What Makes a People’s Horse?

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new blog post here at zoelouisesmithx.com and a new piece in my What Makes a People’s Horse series. However, today’s is slightly different. I have decided to focus on Galileo today, however the difference being, he is more well known for his ability to produce incredibly talented offspring opposed to his career on the track. So today, as normal, I will go through his racing career, which was a very short one but I will also have a look at some of the horses he has produced whilst being based at Coolmore Stud. So, without further ado, let’s just jump right into it.

Galileo was foaled on the 30th of March 1998, by Sadler’s Wells out of Urban Sea. He was bred by David Tsu and Orpendale in Ireland, “Orpendale” is a name used by Coolmore Stud for some of their breeding interests.

Interestingly. Galileo’s sire Sadler’s Well (1981-2011) went on to sire the winners of over 2000 races, which included 130 Group 1/Grade 1 races. He was the most successful sire in the history of British racing, being named the 14 time record breaking leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland. Galileo’s dam Urban Sea (1989-2009) went on to be the dam of Sea the Stars, Black Sam Bellamy, My Typhoon and many more.

Galileo was owned by Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor and was sent straight into training with Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle.

Galileo’s first race came when he was 2 years old on the 28th of October 2000 when he ran at Leopardstown. He was the Evens favourite and Mick Kinane took the ride. Impressively, Galileo won by 14 lengths to Taraza (5/2) with Johnny Murtagh on board.

Galileo took a 170 day break, before returning to Leopardstown on the 16th of April 2001 for a listed race over 1 mile 2 furlong, where as the odds on 1/3 favourite under Mick Kinane again he beat stable companion Milan (7/1) by 3 1/2 lengths. Just one month later, he returned to Leopardstown, this time under Seamie Heffernan, starting as the odds on 8/15 favourite, winning again, this time by 1 1/2 lenghts to Exaltation I (10/1).

Galileo then travelled across the Irish sea for a Group 1 at Epsom in the Derby Stakes Class A Showcase Race, where he started the race as the 11/4 joint favourite under Mick Kinane. He beat the other joint favourite Golan by 3 1/2 lengths. After this race, reports said Mick Kinane had described Galileo as the best horse he had ever ridden.

One month later, Galileo returned to Ireland to the Curragh for the Irish Derby on the 1st of July, where he was made the odds on 4/11 favourite under Mick Kinane. He won by 4 lengths after his jockey eased him in the closing stages.

On the 28th of July 2001, Galileo returned to England to Ascot this time for the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes. He started the race as the 1/2 favourite, with regular jockey Mick Kinane riding. Galileo won by 2 lengths to the second favourite Fantastic Light (7/2) with Frankie Dettori on board.

Galileo returned to Ireland and attended Punchestown on the 8th of September 2001, where he went to the Irish Champion Stakes. He was the 4/11 favourite under Mick Kinane, however unfortunately the tables were turned and this time he finished second behind Fantastic Light (9/4) with Frankie Dettori.

For Galileo’s last ever race he headed to Belmont Park in America for the Breeders’ Cup on the 27th of October 2001. This was his first time racing on dirt and he started at 100/30 under Mick Kinane, however he could only manage 6th place. Immediately after this race his retirement was announced.

Galileo was retired to Coolmore Stud in County Tipperry, he was stood there during the Northern Hemisphere breeding season, then moved to Coolmore Stud in New South Wales, Australia during the Southern Hemisphere breeding season. However since 2012, he has stood exclusively in Ireland.

So now, let’s jump in to what I think everybody is here for and what he is mainly known for, his offspring. I’m going to go through some of the notable horses, however there are a lot so I won’t mention every single name, I will try and pick out multiple from each year.

The first horse I am going to mention is Nightime who was foaled on the 5th of April 2003, out of Caumshinaun. She went on to win the Irish 1,000 Guineas in 2006 before being retired in 2007 and has since become a successful broodmare. Also foaled in 2003 on the 14th of February, Sixties Icon out of Love Divine, who went on to win the St Leger Stakes as a 3 year old in 2006, he also went on to win five other Group races before being retired to stud.

Galileo also produced jumps horses, one being Celestial Halo who was foaled on the 7th of May 2004 out of Pay The Bank. He went on to be trained by Paul Nicholls, and in March 2008 at 4 years old won the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle as well as finishing second in the Champion Hurdle in 2009, also winning multiple other races throughout his career.

Also foaled in 2004 was Soldier of Fortune who was foaled on the 20th of February out of Affianced. He went on to win the Group One Irish Derby in 2007 as well the Group One Coronation Cup in 2008.

Moving into 2005, we have Alandi who was foaled on the 4th of April out of Aliya. He went on to win the Vintage Crop Stakes, Ballycullen Stakes, Irish St Leger and Prix du Cadran all in 2009. He was retired in 2012 and became a breeding stallion in Poland.

We also have New Approach who foaled on the 18th of February 2005 out of Park Express. He went on to win the Tyros Stakes, Futurity Stakes, National Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes all in 2007 and the Epsom Derby, Irish Champion Stakes and Champion Stakes in 2008. He also won the award for the European Champion Two Year Old Colt in 2007, the European Champion Three Year Old Colt in 2008 as well as the Irish Horse of the Year in 2008. He was retired and stands as a stallion for the Darley Stud, spending half of his year at the Dalham Stall Stud at Newmarket and the Northwood Park Stud Farm in Victoria, Australia for the other half of the year where he has produced horses such as Masar, Dawn Approach and Talent.

On the 12th of February 2006, Rip Van Winkle was foaled out of Looking Back. He went on to win the Tyros Stakes in 2008, the Sussex Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes both in 2009 and the International Stakes in 2010. He was retired to Coolmore Stud in 2010 and went on to sire 3 Group 1 winners, Dick Whittington (2012), Te Akau Shark (2014) and Jennifer Eccles (2016). He sadly passed away on the 1st of August 2020 at 14 years old after suffering a short illness.

In 2007, on the 20th of April, Cape Blanco was foaled out of Laurel Delight. He went on to win the Tyros Stakes and Futurity Stakes in 2009, the Dante Stakes, Irish Derby and Irish Champion Stakes in 2010 and then the Man o’War Stakes, Arlington Million and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes in 2011. He also won the Irish Three Year Old Colt in 2010 and the American Champion Male Turf Horse in 2011.

In to 2008, we see probably the most famous offspring of Galileo’s produced and that is, of course, Frankel who was foaled on the 11th of February out of Kind. Frankel went on to be unbeaten in his fourteen race career, winning over £2.9 million with wins in many big races. The Royal Lodge Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes in 2010, the Greenham Stakes, 2,000 Guineas Stakes, St James’s Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes all in 2011. Then the Sussex Stakes, Lockinge Stakes, Queen Anne Stakes, International Stakes and Champion Stakes all in 2012. Frankel was then retired and stood at Banstead Manor Stud at Cheveley in Suffolk where he was born. Some noticeable offspring of Frankel includes some Group 1 winners including Call the Wind, Cracksman, Dream Castle, Mirage Dancer, Mozu Ascot, Soul Stirring, Veracious, Without Parole, Anapurna, Logician, Quadrilateral and Grenadier Guards.

Another key horse in 2008 to mention is Nathaniel who was foaled on the 24th of April out of Magnificent Style who won the King Edward VII Stakes and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2011 as well as the Eclipse Stakes in 2012. Nathaniel was retired to stand stud as the Newsells Park Stud and out of his first set of foals, included a horse that almost everybody knows… Enable. Enable went on to win the Cheshire Oaks in 2017, Epsom Oaks in 2017, Irish Oaks in 2017, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2017, 2019 and 2020, the Yorkshire Oaks in 2017 and 2019, the Prix de l’Arc Triomphe in 2017 and 2018, the September Stakes in 2018 and 2020, the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2018 and the Eclipse Stakes in 2019.

On the 25th of February 2009, Noble Mission was foaled out of Kind. He went on to win the Newmarket Stakes and Gordon Stakes in 2012, the Tapster Stakes in 2013 and the Gordon Richards Stakes, Huxley Stakes, Tattersalls Gold Cup, Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and Champion Stakes in 2014. He also won the Cartier Champion Older Horse award in 2014. Noble Mission then went on to sire a Grad 1 winner in Code of Honor.

Moving into 2010, we start with Magician who was foaled on the 24th of April out of Absolutelyfabulous. Magician went on to win the Dee Stakes, Irish 2,000 Guineas and Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2013 and the Mooresbridge Stakes in 2014. As well as winning the Cartier Champion Three Year Old Colt Award in 2013.

We also have Ruler of the World who was foaled on the 17th of March 2010 out of Love Me True. He went on to win the Chester Vase and Epsom Derby in 2013 and the Prix Foy in 2014. It was announced on the 24th of October 2014 that he would be retired and stand alongside his father Galileo at Coolmore Stud. A notable offspring of Ruler of the World’s is Iridessa who went on to win the Fillies’ Mile, Pretty Polly Stakes, Matron Stakes, Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Into 2011, we have Australia who was foaled on the 8th of April out of Ouija Board. Australia went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Trial in 2013, then winning the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and International Stakes in 2014. He also won the World’s top rated intermediate distance horse as well as the World’s top rated three year old colt both in 2014. On the 11th of October of 2014, it was announced Australia had developed a hoof infection and a suspected abscess and due to continued lameness the decision was made to retire him. He was to stand alongside his father Galileo at Coolmore Stud. Notable offspring include Galilo Chrome (2017) who went on to win the St Leger Stakes as well as Order of Australia (2017) who won the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Also foaled in 2011, was Marvellous who was foaled on the 9th of January out of You’resothrilling. Marvellous went on to win the 1,000 Guineas in 2014.

In 2012, we have Found who was foaled on the 13th of March out of Red Evie. She went on to win the Prix Marcel Boussac in 2014, the Royal Whip Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2015 then the Mooresbridge Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2016. She also won multiple awards including: Top rated European Two Year Old Filly in 2014, the World’s Top Rated Three Year Old Filly in 2015, the Top Rated European Female and Top Rated Irish Horse and the Cartier Champion Older Horse all in 2016. Found then became a broodmare, her first foal being a colt by War Front called Battleground on the 10th of May 2018. Battleground went on to win the Chesham Stakes and Veuve Cliquot Vintage Stakes and finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

Also foaled in 2012 was Gleneagles who was foaled on the 12th of January out of You’resothrilling. He went on to win the Tyros Stakes, Futurity Stakes and National Stakes in 2014. He was also the first past the post in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère, however he hampered multiple horses so was put back to 3rd place. He also won the 2,000 Guineas, Irish 2,000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes all in 2015. He also won the Cartier Champion Two Year Old Colt in 2014.

Another incredible horse foaled in 2012 is Highland Reel who was foaled on the 21st of February out of Hveger. Highland Reel went on to win the Vintage Stakes in 2014, the Gordon Stakes, Secretariat Stakes and Hong Kong Vase in 2015, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2016 then the Hong Kong Vase, Coronation Cup and Prince Wales’s Stakes in 2017. Highland Reel currently stands at Coolmore Stud with a Stud Free of €10,000 for 2021.

On the 22nd of February 2012, Order of St George was foaled out of Another Storm. He went on to win the Irish St Leger Trial Stakes in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The Irish St Leger in 2015 and 2017. The Saval Beg Stakes in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The Ascot Gold Cup in 2016, the British Champions Long Distance Cup in 2017 and the Vintage Crop Stakes in 2018. He also won many awards, including the Top Rate Irish Racehorse and the World’s Top Rated Racehorse (Extended Distance) in 2015 then the Cartier Champion Stayer both in 2016 and 2017. Order of St George currently stands at Castlehyde Stud with a 2021 Stud Fee of €6,500.

Moving into 2013, we have Alice Springs who was foaled on the 4th of May out of Aleagueoftheirown. She went on to win the Tattersalls Millions Two Year Old Fillies’ Trophy in 2015, the Falmouth Stakes, Matron Stakes and Sun Chariot Stakes all in 2016.

On the 14th of March 2013, Idaho was foaled out of Hveger. He went on to win the Great Voltigeur Stakes in 2016, the Hardwicke Stakes in 2017 and the Ormonde Stakes in 2018. At the end of the 2018 season he was retired and stood at Beeches Stud with a 2021 Stud Fee of €3,500.

Another 2013 foal is Minding who was foaled on the 10th of February out of Lillie Langtry. She went on to win the Moyglare Stud Stakes and Fillies’ Mile in 2015, the 1,000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks, Pretty Polly Stakes, Nassau Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in 2016 and the Mooresbridge Stakes in 2017. She also won the Cartier Champion Two Year Old Filly and Top Rated European Two Year Old Filly in 2015. As well as winning the Cartier Champion Three Year Old Filly, Cartier Horse of the Year, Irish Horse of the Year and the World Top Rated Three Year Old Filly all in 2016.

Moving into 2014, we have Churchill who was foaled on the 31st of December out of Meow. He went on to win the Chesham Stakes, Tyros Steaks, Futurity Stakes, National Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes all in 2016, then the 2,000 Guineas and Irish 2,000 Guineas in 2017. He also won the Cartier Champion Two Year Old Colt and the Top Rated European Two Year Old in 2016. Churchill currently stands at Coolmore Stud and has a 2021 Stud Fee of €30,000.

Also in 2014, we have Winter who was foaled on the 15th of February out of Laddies Poker Two. She went on to win the 1,000 Guineas, Irish 1,000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes and Nassau Stakes all in 2017.

In 2015, Happily was foaled on the 27th of February out of You’resothrilling. She went on to win the Silver Flash Stakes, Moyglare Stud Stakes and the Prix Jean-Luc Lagadère all in 2017. As well as the Cartier Champion Two Year Old Filly in 2017.

Also foaled in 2017, we have Kew Gardens who was foaled on the 20th of January out of Chelsea Rose. He won the Zetland Stakes in 2017, the Queen’s Vase, Grand Prix de Paris and St Leger in 2018 as well as the British Champions Long Distance Cup in 2019. In June 2020, it was announced that Kew Gardens would retire from racing and stand at Castlehyrde Stud with a 2021 Stud Fee of €5,000.

Another horse foaled in 2015, was Magical who was foaled on the 18th of May out of Halfway to Heaven. She went on to win the Debutante Stakes in 2017, the Kilboy Estate Stakes and British Champions Fillies & Mares Steaks in 2018. The Alleged Stakes, Mooresbridge Stakes, Tattersalls Gold Cup, Irish Champion Stakes and Champion Stakes in 2019, followed by the Tattersalls Gold Cup, Irish Champion Stakes and Pretty Polly Stakes in 2020. In December 2020, connections announced that Magical would be retired to become a broodmare.

We now move into 2016. On the 19th of May Anthony Van Dyck was foaled out of Believe’N’Succeed. He went on to win the Tyros Stakes and Futurity Stakes in 2018, the Derby Trial Stakes and Epsom Derby in 2019 and the Prix Foy in 2020. Unfortunately Anthony Van Dyck was put to sleep on the 3rd of November 2020 when he broke down in the Melbourne Cup at only 4 years old.

On the 22nd of February 2016, Japan was foaled out of Shastye. He went on to win the Beresford Stakes in 2018 and the King Edward VII Stakes, Grand Prix de Paris and International Stakes in 2019. He failed to win in 5 attempts as a four year old in 2020.

Another horse foaled in 2016 was Search For A Song out of Polished Gem. She went on to win the Galtres Stakes and Irish St Leger in 2019 and the Irish Leger again in 2020.

Now onto 2017, we have Love who was foaled on the 13th of April 2017 out of Pikaboo. She won the Silver Flash Stakes and Moyglare Stud Stakes in 2019 and the 1,000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks in 2020. As well as winning the Cartier Champion Three Year Old Filly in 2020.

We also have Mogul who was foaled on the 3rd of April 2017 out of Shastye. He has went on to win the Juvenile Stakes in 2019 followed by the Gordon Stakes, Grand Prix de Paris and Hong Kong Vase in 2020.

Peaceful was foaled on the 22nd of January 2017 out of Missvinski, who won the 1,000 Guineas in 2020. As well as Serpentine who was foaled on the 20th of March 2017 out of Remember When, who won the Epsom Derby in 2020.

The final horse to mention is Shale who was foaled on the 26th of March 2018 and in 2020 won both the Silver Flash Stakes and the Moyglare Stud Stakes.


So, all in all, Galileo had a wonderful career, although it was short. He then went on to produce some of the best horses we’ve all had the honour of watching, some of those who have gone on to produce some incredible horses also. Overall we wouldn’t have some of the talented horses we see today if it wasn’t for Galileo. Currently and for many years now, since 2008, Galileo’s Stud Fee has been privately negotiated, but it is believed that he is the most expensive stallion in the world.

In 2016, after Minding won the 1,000 Guineas, Galileo became the sire of winners of all five British Classics. In 2018, there was a rumour that his Stud Fee was as high as €600,000. In August 2018, Galileo passed his own sire’s record of the most European Group races as a sire with Sizzling giving him his 328th. On the 1st of June 2019, Galileo had sired 192 Group winners. In the 2019 Derby, Galileo was the sire, grandsire or great-grandsire of 12 out of 13 runners and was the broodmare sire of the 13th horse. On the 9th of November 2019, Magic Wand became his 84th individual Group/Grade One winner, putting him level with Danehill for the most winners sired.

So, with all of that being said, I can see why so many people love Galileo. I decided to write a post up about him because it was slightly different. He is a people’s horse but mainly for the horses he’s produced, opposed to his own career so I thought it would be interesting to research it all a little more and name some of those incredible horses he has given us.

I enjoyed researching this one and I hope you all enjoyed reading it. This one is a very long one, so I do apologise for that but I felt like it was one I really wanted to do. I shall see you all in my next post!

An Interview with Phillip Dennis

Phillip Dennis

Hiya guys!

Today I am bringing you an interview with Phillip Dennis, I hope you enjoy!

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Me: What is your favourite race of your career, win or lose?

Phillip: My favourite race that I have won so far would have to be the Epsom Dash on Ornate. To win a big handicap just 40 minutes before the Derby was great and a real buzz, he also gave me my first Group One ride in the Nunthorpe this year, which would be up there for a favourite ride that didn’t win. Hopefully he can be seriously competitive in listed or group company this season.

Me: If you could ride any horse that you never have, past or present, what horse would you choose?

Phillip: If I could have ridden any horse past or present, I’d have to say Frankel as an obvious one. He was just a freak of a race horse and his Guineas win and York win stand out for me. A less obvious one would be Sole Power, he looked a real character to ride.

Me: What are your opinions surrounding the discussions of banning the whip?

Phillip: I think the whip issue could go on and on but it really is an important piece of equipment that the wider public don’t really understand. I’m not sure what the best way to go is, whether it’s tighten up penalties or reduce hits, but in my opinion, banning it would be crazy.

Me: As a jockey, weight is obviously a huge thing for you guys, so what would you eat on a regular day? Are there any periods across the year where you can actually just eat everything and anything or is it a strict kind of diet all year round?

Phillip: I’m fairly lucky with my weight that it stays quite level and I can eat relatively well, depending on what weights I have in the coming days. 48 hour declarations are definitely a help to get the weight sorted for a lighter ride. In the summer I’d watch it a bit more than in the winter. When it’s quieter you can use it as a bit of a break for the body.

Me: What would you say to anyone who thinks racing is animal cruelty?

Phillip: If I was to talk to someone who thought racing was cruel, I’d have to explain to them how well the horses are looked after, morning and night. People think they are forced to run, but the majority are only happy when they are out with a saddle on them. Stable staff do an unbelievable job and treat them like they are their own.

Me: Racing is an all year round sport, so when you do get some down time, what do you like to do?

Phillip: During the odd days I get off I try to play golf… very averagely. But I’d be a fair weather player. So other than that I like to spend time with friends and family. During the lockdown I tried my hand at the odd bit of DIY and gardening.

Me: Who do you look up to in the dressing room?

Phillip: In the North, it’s a great bunch of jockeys, as people and riders, so it would be hard to single one person out that I look up to, but any advice I can get off the more senior riders is a massive help and I like to get as much as possible.

Me:What is one race you’d love to win?

Phillip: The obvious races I’d love to win would be the classics, like any jockey. But on a more personal level, I’d love to win the Nunthorpe, being my local track and I love sprinters. Another one would be the Ayr Gold Cup. My dad used to take me and my mate up every year to watch it with him, so that one would be up there. When I was young it was always the Grand National, but not sure I’d be brave enough now, unless it was an old school master.

Me: What’s your overall goal in racing over the upcoming few years?

Phillip: In the coming season or two I’d like to keep building on numbers and also the quality of horses. Last year I got to 47 with a few nicer ones in there, so to keep riding in them sort of races would be great and to get above 50 would be nice.

Me: What would be your ‘horse to watch’ for the next season or two?

Phillip: A horse to watch would be Que Amoro, a filly I won on for Michael Dods in the apprentice race at the Ebor Festival. She’s a seriously fast filly that stays the 5 furlongs strongly and on fast ground I think she’d be able to go up a level into a listed / group 3 company for them.

Me: What is your favourite race course to ride at and why?

Phillip: York would have to be my favourite track, it’s my local, has the best racing in the North and arguably, the country. Always has a great crowd and the atmosphere is unbelievable.

Me: What is your best advice for young people who have a passion they want to follow, whether that be racing or something else?

Phillip: My advice to any young person would be hard work can always beat talent, so as long as you want something, don’t let anyone tell you you can’t or aren’t good enough. Just make sure you work as hard as you can and harder than anyone else and you’ll get to where you want to be.

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Firstly a massive thank you to Phillip for taking the time out to speak with me. From speaking to him I think he is someone who wants to learn and continuously improve in the sport and that is a great attitude to have and he will definitely be successful with that thought process. 

I hope you enjoyed and I will see you all next Saturday for An Interview with Tom Garner.

An Interview with Georgia Cox

Georgia Cox

Hiya guys!

Today’s post is with the lovely Georgia Cox who is currently an apprentice jockey for William Haggas, she has gave a cracking interview with some brilliant, detailed answers and I thoroughly hope you enjoy!

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Me: What is your favourite race of your career, win or lose?

Georgia: Theydon Grey’s hat trick on the Knavesmire definitely stands out in my mind. looking back now wish I had of enjoyed those days more, as I know now more often that not things don’t always go to plan or as perfectly as we did. Sheikh Ahmed’s yellow and black silks have always been my favourite, having been able to ride a lot of nice horses for him and his team. So, bringing any of their horses  back to the winner’s enclosure means a lot to me. I have always loved watching Mtoto’s replays who of course is also the sire of the great Shaamit and a huge part of Somerville Lodge history!

Me: If you could ride any horse, that you never had, past or present, which horse would you choose?

Georgia: This is probably a biased answer but for me it would be Sea of Class. If anyone had read the newsletter I wrote, they would know my thoughts about her greatness. She had a breathtaking presence, an extraordinary aura and gumption beyond belief. She was just completely unique.

Me: What are you opinions surrounding the discussion of banning the whip?

Georgia: This topic has been done to a death. For me it’s about as boring as Brexit and the question “what’s it like being a girl race riding” Nothing annoys me more than our sport getting a slating. I have felt a smack by other riders during a tight finish so I know that it does not hurt. Unfortunately, horses can’t speak English so you use actions to explain the game, it’s used to keep them going, to cajole them into line. It’s similar to a boxer getting a slap/receipt from their coach. It’s a means to get them to concentrate. These horses weight 500kgs, the stick is air cushioned and it lands on the thickest bit of flesh when their adrenaline is at a high. They are naturally flight animals, but often when I’m waiting to get the leg up in the mornings, my horse will play with my stick, I could rub it all over their face without them flinching. If they associated it with pain, there is no way I would be able to do that, ill-formed and uneducated perception of the stick is ancient.

Me: You ride for William Haggas, as an apprentice jockey, What is it like working for him?

Georgia: I walked in to Somerville Lodge fresh faced at 16 and very shy. Once I started to find my feet, my passion grew stronger and talking about the horses is how I found my voice. 98% of my vocabulary might be horses but that’s when I’m most confident doing what I love. Our horses have everything they could possibly need from: treadmills; salt boxes; vibe plates; 5 horse walkers; spa’s; physio’s; top class farriers and vets and heat lamps fitted everywhere that is possible. So much thought goes into these animals everyday rituals. Having been nearly 7 years now I know a lot of their pedigrees first hand which I find particularly interesting finding the traits they pass down their family. I know our yard like the back of my hand and everything gets done to the highest standard. Somerville Lodge is where the attention to detail and organisation gets taken to another level our horses certainly live the riches life.

Me: What is your favourite race course and why?

Georgia: I have had some great days at York in the past. The facilities there are top class, it’s a very fair track and the best horse always wins. It’s topped off by always having a good atmosphere too. You can’t ask for much more than that.

Me: What is one race that you’d love to win?

Georgia: The Derby is the race that every jockey dreams about winning. Even people who are not into racing know about how prestigious the Derby is.

Me: What would be your horse to watch for the next season or two?

Georgia: It’s hard to pick just one right now, so many unexposed raw types with so much potential especially at this time of year when they are all coming back in from their winter holidays. Strengthened up, fresh and raring to go. The dream is very much intact for all. They are getting back into their individual routines suited best for them so we are all hoping that ducklings have turned into swans and their top class pedigrees shine through.

Me: What would you say to anyone who thinks racing is animal cruelty?

Georgia: As mentioned above, I’ve been at Somerville Lodge since I was 16 so I can only say based on our yard and if every yard is like ours, no one would dare question the welfare of our horses. We look after our horses better than we do ourselves,  the minute details never go amiss for each individual horse. I know every single one of our horses from sight, pedigree, conformation, character and racing form. These horses are the best looked after animals in the country. If you ever look through the photos in our phones you’ll be swamped with so many photos of horses. They truly are the apple of our eyes.

The racing photographers and twitter pages (like Racing tales/Micheal Harris) should also be commended as pictures can say a thousand words, the moments captured between grooms and horse you can see the love in there eyes. Good twitter pages should be shown support by the likes of itv racing to get more people hooked deeper into the history of the sport.  I think all the yards should be more transparent and you will find more video gems like the Harry Bentley in the stalls to go viral, as things like that happen constantly everyday.

There are so many stories in racing that should get made into movies like Frankel is great but I’d love to see one on the great Sir Henry Cecil himself and how inspiring his journey was. To hit the heights that he did, to then go between 2000 – 2006 not having a single group 1 winner in 2005 only trained a dozen winners to go from 200 horses shrank to 50 how he came back from that is an inspirational story that everyone could do with!

Racing tickets should be cheaper and there should be more competitions for people to win tickets/ merchandise. We are always happy to see more young people to cherish the roots of racing instead of just going for the music concert after. All the good that our sport does could do with being exposed more. There are so many issues with social media and young people these days. Horses are an escape from that. They don’t judge you, they don’t care what you look like or how many followers you have. You see when you have such a strong passion about something, it gives you something to focus on, when other in life is going wrong it’s something to turn too, perhaps even a sense of purpose and direction in life, these days so much of our lives are consumed into staring endlessly at our phones that seem to takes over so much of our lives. when social media gets to much you can always count on the horses to be there waiting for you, they are always happy to see you and can only be good for mental health.

These equine athletes earn us a living and none of them owe us anything. Every horse that comes through our yard, I follow their journey after they leave wherever that might be that they go to. I have many pictures of them in retirement. They give us a reason to get up in the morning. I, like so many others would be lost without these animals. It’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle. A contagious, infectious, addictive lifestyle. It’s a passion like no other. It’s a game like no other where adrenaline is on tap. It’s living in the fast lane. We are the sport of kings and we shall drown out the nonsense.

Me: What is your favourite day of the racing calendar?

Georgia: Royal Ascot has to be the pinnacle of the sport. Five days packed full of top class racing. So much history and so many superstars, human and equine, have passed under that tunnel. It is where dreams are either made or shattered. It is something that every jockey owner, breeder and trainer want on their CV, a Royal Ascot winner.

Me: What is your best advice for young people who have a passion they want to follow, whether that be racing or otherwise?

Georgia: If you have a passion for something, follow it. Mine has taken me all over the world and led me to a pretty exciting life. I believe having a good work ethic can get you anywhere. Life is a marathon not a sprint but have your blinkers on to remain focused and un-distracted from your goals. The quickest way to get somewhere is a straight line after all. Having good people around you is important, as a support system but also to inspire you and help you achieve your best. It’s not what happens in life, it’s about how you deal with it all. Be humble and laugh it off!

Me: You have previously ridden in the Queen’s colours, how special was that for you?

Georgia: It’s something I’ve always dreamed of and hugely proud of, to be able to put her majesty famous silks on, has been an absolute honour and I wish there to be many more times ahead yet!

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Interviewing Georgia was fantastic, she is so open and passionate about the sport it is incredible to see. So firstly, as always, I want to say a massive thank you to Georgia for taking the time out to have a chat with me and answer some questions.

I really hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I did writing it.