By Sid Fernando
If you blinked, you missed it. Coolmore Stud’s popular Ashford-based Galileo stallion Cape Blanco, who covered more mares (220) in his first year at stud in 2012 than any other stallion in North America, was sent to Japan for the 2015 season, but without missing a beat and with little fanfare Coolmore replaced his roster spot with the Galileo horse Magician as if it was nothing.
It helps, of course, to have a plethora of Galileos to work with, as Coolmore, which stands the iconic sire, does.
Like Cape Blanco, who’d won G1s in the US, Magician was known Stateside. He’d memorably run down The Fugue in the BC Turf-G1 in 2013 in fast time of 2:23.23 for 12 furlongs, and he was again scheduled to contest the race this year before scratching out the Wednesday before with a lameness issue.
What’s not as well known here—but is significant to breeders—is that Magician is one of three male Guineas winners for his outstanding sire, following the great Frankel and Roderic O’Connor. The latter two won their mile classics in 2011, Frankel making a mockery of the 2000 Guineas and Roderic taking the Irish equivalent in a watershed season for their sire.
Magician, like Roderic, won the Irish 2000 Guineas-G1, in 2013. All three are bred on the potent Galileo/Danehill cross, too, with Frankel and Roderic O’Connor produced from Danehill mares and Magician from a mare by Mozart, a multiple G1-winning sprinting son of Danehill who died in May of his first season at stud in 2002.
Mozart left behind several high-quality horses from that crop, including the G1 winner Amadeus Wolf and the G3 winner Dandy Man—both sires. He also had the G2 winner Stratham and the G3 winner Rebellion in the US, as well as the stakes-winning sprinter Absolutelyfabulous, the dam of Magician, among others. Absolutelyfabulous is from the immediate family of one-time Ashford sire Henrythenavigator, a dual Guineas winner by Kingmambo, so there’s plenty of familiarity with this family, which is notably American.
In all, Magician won five of 14 starts, placed five times, and earned the equivalent of $2.58 million. He won at two, won a classic at three, defeated older horses at 12 furlongs, and placed in several G1 races in Europe and the US this year, too, including a second-place finish behind Hardest Core in the Arlington Million, a second behind The Fugue (with Treve third) in the Prince of Wales’s, and a second behind Frankel’s brother Noble Mission (now at stud at Lane’s End) in the Tattersalls Gold Cup. No denying he was genuine, and the Guineas win on his resume gives the purist a classics equivalent to Cape Blanco’s Irish Derby, although on a strict comparison Cape Blanco, with nine wins and five G1s to Magician’s two G1s, was the better horse.
But Magician will begin his career for $12,500, lower than Cape Blanco did and at a price that gives the breeder a whole lot of racing form and pedigree for the price, not to mention access to another Galileo son.
How to breed to him? Look for clues from Teofilo, one of the first Galileos from a Danehill mare that went to stud. Jim Bolger’s horse is at Darley where he’s sired about 30 SWs, a third of which have Danzig in their bottom sides, including three of his six G1 winners. This, of course, means inbreeding to Danzig, but at the right generational distance Danzig duplications are working. Of Teofilo’s nine SWs with Danzig in their pedigrees twice, eight are 4×3, 4×4, or 4×5, with only the Bolger-bred Listed winner Paene Magnus closely inbred at 3×2 to Danehill. The Bolger-bred G1 winner Trading Leather is 4×5 to Danzig, G1 winner Voleuse de Coeurs is 4×4, and G1 winner Havana Gold is 4×4.
Breeding daughters of War Front, Hard Spun, Exchange Rate or mares by other sons of Danzig to Magician will result in 5×3 duplications, the equivalent to 4×4 and very much at a generational distance that has worked with Teofilo. The Galileo/Danzig eNick is an A.
Daughters of Pulpit should also be interesting mates. The Sadler’s Wells/Pulpit cross is also an eNicks A, and Sadler’s Wells-line sires in North America like El Prado, Sligo Bay, Kitten’s Joy, Medaglia d’Oro, and Artie Schiller have all sired SWs from Pulpit daughters.