Galileo set for G2 double in South Africa

Australian and NZ bred exports have been in then spotlight in Dubai this month and the off-shore focus will shift to South Africa on Saturday night when Galileo’s Galaxy runs in the G2 Gauteng Guineas at Turffontein.

Galileo’s Galaxy (3c Galileo – Star Affair by Star Way) was a brilliant winner of his first two starts but the front-running colt has been bloused out in black-type company at his last three outings.

Galileo’s Galaxy was well backed to land the G2 Dingaans in November but was run down by his Aussie-bred stablemate Curved Ball (Fastnet Rock).  Next time out in the G1 Cape Guineas, he ran an almost identical race only to be collared in the closing stages by Noordhoek Flyer.

Returning home to Johannesburg for the Listed Tony Ruffel Stakes last month, he was ridden with a bit more restraint and the tactics looked like working until Pierre Jourdan closed with a late surge to nail him on the line.

Galileo’s Galaxy, who is a younger half-brother to recent G3 AJC Summer Cup winner Solid Billing (Rock of Gibraltar), is trained by Charles Laird for Marcus Jooste.  He was a $550,000 buy out of the Coolmore draft at the 2008 Inglis Easter yearling sale.  

Phoenix Park owner Janine Dunlop sold their yearling half-sister by O’Reilly for $600,000 at the 2020 Karaka Premier Sale.  Waikato Stud fought off several rivals including Peter Vela and John O’Shea to buy the filly.

“It’s a hard family to get into,” Waikato Stud owner Gary Chittick said.  “I knew we weren’t going to get her under a half-million so we opened the bidding at $400,000 to knock some out.”

Star Affair was a G2 winner of the Travis Stakes in New Zealand.  The Karaka filly from Phoenix Park is a three-quarter sister Champion Kiwi 3yo Filly The Jewel (O’Reilly) and The One (O’Reilly).  The latter was a G3 winner of the VRC Danehill Stakes at Flemington before continuing his career in Hong Kong.

Star Affair is owned by Terry Archer and she delivered an O’Reilly colt in September and was bred back to the Waikato Stud sire the following month.
The G2 Gauteng Guineas is scheduled for 1.35am (AEDT) on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

One race earlier on the Turffontein card, the Australian bred Galileo filly Sidera can keep her unbeaten record intact in the G2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas.  Amazingly, Mike De Kock saddles six runners while Charles Laird has entered three of his best fillies.

Sidera was purchased by Badgers Bloodstock for $45,000 at the 2008 Inglis Classic yearling sale.  She was bred by Dato Tan Chin Nam and was consigned for sale by Think Big Stud.  Now raced by leading South African studmaster John Koster, she descends from G1 Auckland Cup winner Royal Tiara (Blanco).

Sidera (3f Galileo – Freja by Danehill) has the highest merit rating in the Fillies Guineas and, with jockey Anthony Delpech aboard, is obviously the de Kock stable elect.  She has progressed nicely since cruising in by seven lengths on debut before graduating to the Listed Starling Stakes and G3 Fillies Mile.

The G2 Fillies Guineas is timed for 12.55am (AEDT).