TROT WITH THE TIMES - By Shailendra Awasthi I TNN
Posted on - 28 Jan 2011
TROT WITH THE TIMES
By Shailendra Awasthi
TIMES OF INDIA
India’s Champion Filly Jacqueline Set To Date Galileo, World’s Most Sought-After Stallion In Late April
WAITING FOR WONDER BABY
This is one ‘match’ the Indian racing fraternity had been waiting to happen with bated breath. Jacqueline, the greatest female horse in Indian racing history, is set to go on a date with Galileo, widely regarded as one of the most sought-after fathers (best stallion) in the world. The mating of these two great thoroughbreds will take place sometime towards late April this year.
Wonder filly Jacqueline — owned by Vijay Shirke, Berjis Desai and Khushroo Dhunjibhoy — went on a record-setting spree last year when she won four Indian Classics in a row, including the Indian Derby. It’s considered one of the rarest of rare feats in world racing history. The Guinness Book of World Records is currently assessing Jacqueline’s claim.
On the other hand, Galileo, who belongs to the Coolmore Stud in Ireland and is owned by John Magnier, is the winner of one of the world’s most prestigious races, the Epsom Derby. He has been a successful father too, having sired seven individual Group 1 (top-class) winners during the 2010 season alone. Coolmore is acknowledged as the best breeding farm in the world.
The mating between the two is set to usher in a new era of cooperation between India and Ireland. “The fact that Indian owners have decided to send their best horses to Ireland demonstrates the belief that Irish stallions and the Irish thoroughbred industry rank among the very best in the world,” said Ken Thompson, the Irish ambassador to India.
Jacqueline, who is now in quarantine in US, will soon travel to Coolmore Stud and mate with Galileo, sometime in late April. Their foal (baby) will be the joint property of her Indian owners and Coolmore Stud. “She will have two foals from Galileo,” Dhunjibhoy, the co-owner of Jacqueline, informed TOI. “The first foal will race in Ireland, while the next one will be born in India and race here.”
Galileo’s charges for ‘covering’ (mating) a female horse is reportedly around 175,000 Euros (more than a crore of rupees). “But as per the understanding of our partnership with Coolmore Stud, the covering will be free,” claims Dhunjibhoy.
Jacqueline will be accompanied by another excellent performer, Aurora Aurealis, who is the property of Dhunjibhoy and Desai. She will be ‘covered’ by Galileo’s champion son Rip Van Winkle, who will making his stallion career debut. Both the Indian mares are presently pregnant, each carrying a foal of Glory Of Dancer, one of the most sought-after stallions in India at Dhunjibhoy’s famous Nanoli Stud Farm.
They will be ready to meet the champion stallions after delivering their first foal in Ireland. “We expect Jacqueline to deliver the Glory Of Dancer baby by late March and she will be ready to mate with Galileo by April end,” informed Dhunjibhoy.
“We thought it was an impossible dream, that Jacqueline would be covered by Galileo, and that too, for two years and free,” said Berjis Desai. “But that is what racing is all about. Your most impossible dreams can sometimes come true.” The deal was brought about through the good offices of Michael O’ Hagan, managing director of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing.
Born in 1998, this son of Sadler’s Wells has won Epsom Derby, Irish Derby Stakes, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2001. Was adjudged European champion 3-yearold colt in 2001
Won four Indian Classics — 1000 Guineas, 2000 Guineas, Oaks and Derby during the last Mumbai season. Regarded as the best female horse in India