How Good Is Galileo

RATINGS show what other stats can’t.

Conventional wisdom has it that stallion stats are best derived from earnings information of individual offspring.

Earnings have drawbacks, though, as they depend on who horses race against (quality of opposition) and under what conditions (difference in weight carried, distance suitability, pace of race, etc.). Without proper benchmarks there’s no telling whether the outcome of a race in terms of earnings really reflects relative racing ability. And stats drawn from this may paint misleading pictures.

Ratings make for a better statistical base to show what stallions are made off.
Ratings reflect ability, taken from all performances, good and bad.
And ratings can be analysed, to give a host of background information.

So How Good Is GALILEO?

Let’s start with the basics.
Our information is drawn from a database of all horses racing between 1998 and 2019 in UK & Ireland. Ratings are from Raceform (RF), which is a variation on ratings from another respected organization, Timeform (TFR).
The database has 120.000 runners with ratings, which statistically follow a Normal Distribution.
The average mean rating is 69 (with a median of 70)

Galileo has 1239 runners, with a mean RF 81 – which means that the average Galileo rates 12 lbs higher than the population average (RF 69).
How do sons and daughters compare?
The database has 66.000 males, averaging RF 73, and 54.000 females, averaging RF 64.

Both are Normally Distributed.
The difference between the sexes is 8 lbs – which leads to the observation that the universal sex allowance in Weight-for-Age races should be just that!

Galileo’s 673 sons average RF 83, his 566 daughters RF 79 – a difference of just 4 lbs.
Galileo’s sons are 10 lbs better than the average male, his daughters 15 lbs better than the average female.

What chance getting a topclass Galileo, or a dud?

Ratings can be divided in groups, going from Gr1 quality down to no-hopers. 
Here’s how Galileo compares to the overall population, taken in eight equal steps.
The highest rated group represents Gr1 quality, the second highest is black type level, and down from there. The two right hand percentage columns show the combined values of the two highest and of the three highest rating bins.

avg. male 35% 16% 16% 13% 9% 6% 4% 1% 11% 5% 66,000
RF <55 55-64 65-74 75-84 85-94 95-104 105-114 >115 >94 >104 count
GALILEO 7% 6% 9% 16% 18% 17% 17% 10% 45% 28% 673
                       
avg. female 32% 17% 18% 14% 9% 5% 3% 2% 10% 5% 54,000
RF <47 47-56 57-66 67-76 77-86 87-96 97-106 >107 >86 >96 count
GALILEO 4% 5% 14% 19% 18% 13% 17% 10% 41% 28% 566
  • Compared to the average stallion, Galileo’s performance is remarkable.
  • But perspective is important, given that most stallions fail – a fact that’s translated into the overall population figures.
  • A more realistic benchmark is needed.
  • So here’s Galileo together with a selection of stallions of varying quality, split by sex.
avg. male 35% 16% 16% 13% 9% 6% 4% 1% 11% 5% 66,000
RF <55 55-64 65-74 75-84 85-94 95-104 105-114 >115 >94 >104 count
GALILEO 7% 6% 9% 16% 18% 17% 17% 10% 45% 28% 673
Sadler’s Wells 8% 6% 11% 18% 18% 15% 15% 9% 40% 25% 527
Dubawi 4% 4% 11% 24% 22% 16% 11% 8% 36% 20% 435
Danehill 9% 4% 13% 19% 13% 16% 13% 10% 41% 25% 293
Shamardal 8% 9% 14% 22% 21% 12% 10% 4% 27% 14% 386
Dansili 8% 10% 12% 20% 21% 13% 11% 5% 29% 16% 436
Pivotal 9% 8% 17% 22% 18% 10% 11% 5% 26% 16% 498
Montjeu 8% 8% 14% 18% 14% 16% 12% 7% 37% 21% 330
Teofilo 8% 8% 13% 23% 15% 17% 12% 3% 32% 16% 271
Invincible Spirit 6% 7% 16% 25% 17% 14% 10% 4% 28% 15% 528
Oasis Dream 9% 8% 16% 21% 18% 12% 11% 3% 28% 16% 458
Cape Cross 9% 9% 15% 19% 18% 15% 11% 4% 31% 15% 543
Selkirk 9% 8% 17% 21% 15% 11% 13% 6% 30% 20% 302
Danehill Dancer 10% 11% 16% 22% 17% 11% 10% 3% 25% 14% 491
Green Desert 11% 10% 17% 18% 17% 13% 10% 4% 27% 14% 314
Giant’s Causeway 7% 13% 18% 21% 17% 10% 11% 3% 25% 14% 204
Singspiel 13% 8% 13% 20% 15% 16% 11% 4% 31% 15% 224
Red Ransom 14% 7% 12% 25% 18% 14% 7% 4% 24% 10% 194
Exceed And Excel 10% 9% 17% 24% 14% 15% 8% 1% 25% 10% 437
King’s Best 8% 11% 16% 22% 20% 10% 10% 3% 24% 14% 251
Cadeaux Genereux 11% 13% 16% 14% 20% 12% 11% 2% 26% 14% 283
Dutch Art 10% 12% 14% 25% 19% 11% 7% 3% 21% 10% 228
Halling 11% 8% 16% 18% 18% 10% 12% 6% 29% 19% 252
Iffraaj 8% 8% 21% 25% 20% 9% 6% 2% 18% 8% 295
Acclamation 7% 11% 19% 23% 17% 13% 8% 2% 23% 9% 456
Holy Roman Emp. 8% 14% 19% 21% 20% 10% 7% 1% 18% 8% 266
High Chaparral 13% 10% 17% 22% 15% 15% 5% 3% 24% 9% 255
Kodiak 8% 11% 20% 23% 18% 12% 7% 2% 20% 8% 451
Mastercraftsman 14% 11% 20% 22% 16% 9% 7% 2% 17% 8% 200
Intikhaab 11% 13% 19% 22% 14% 13% 6% 0% 20% 7% 228
Rock Of Gibraltar 12% 11% 20% 21% 18% 8% 8% 1% 18% 10% 337
Marju 14% 14% 17% 22% 14% 10% 6% 3% 19% 10% 239
                       
                       
avg. female 32% 17% 18% 14% 9% 5% 3% 2% 10% 5% 54,000
RF <47 47-56 57-66 67-76 77-86 87-96 97-106 >107 >86 >96 count
GALILEO 4% 5% 14% 19% 18% 13% 17% 10% 41% 28% 566
Sadler’s Wells 5% 7% 10% 18% 18% 15% 18% 8% 43% 28% 387
Dubawi 5% 8% 10% 19% 23% 13% 11% 11% 35% 22% 301
Danehill 6% 5% 11% 16% 19% 16% 15% 9% 43% 26% 262
Shamardal 3% 6% 12% 28% 20% 13% 12% 6% 31% 18% 321
Dansili 6% 7% 12% 22% 21% 14% 8% 8% 31% 17% 364
Pivotal 6% 6% 13% 20% 21% 15% 10% 6% 33% 18% 464
Montjeu 8% 10% 17% 21% 15% 13% 13% 3% 29% 16% 235
Teofilo 6% 8% 18% 23% 24% 8% 11% 3% 22% 14% 269
Invincible Spirit 7% 7% 14% 22% 26% 11% 9% 2% 24% 12% 476
Oasis Dream 5% 7% 17% 23% 21% 13% 11% 4% 27% 15% 418
Cape Cross 6% 9% 16% 23% 22% 10% 9% 4% 24% 14% 412
Selkirk 8% 8% 18% 17% 21% 13% 9% 6% 29% 16% 251
Danehill Dancer 8% 9% 15% 18% 18% 14% 9% 7% 32% 18% 456
Green Desert 7% 6% 15% 26% 23% 10% 10% 3% 24% 14% 267
Giant’s Causeway 6% 10% 18% 26% 16% 11% 7% 4% 24% 13% 125
Singspiel 9% 8% 15% 24% 19% 11% 11% 4% 26% 15% 237
Red Ransom 12% 12% 15% 23% 22% 9% 6% 2% 18% 8% 165
Exceed And Excel 7% 10% 17% 26% 19% 12% 7% 2% 22% 10% 394
King’s Best 12% 14% 23% 20% 18% 7% 4% 2% 13% 6% 193
Cadeaux Genereux 10% 10% 17% 24% 15% 12% 10% 2% 23% 13% 241
Dutch Art 9% 12% 19% 20% 16% 14% 7% 2% 23% 9% 244
Halling 10% 15% 21% 22% 14% 11% 5% 2% 18% 7% 214
Iffraaj 10% 11% 17% 25% 19% 9% 6% 3% 18% 9% 283
Acclamation 10% 15% 17% 24% 16% 10% 7% 1% 18% 8% 413
Holy Roman Emp. 11% 15% 16% 19% 17% 12% 8% 2% 22% 10% 281
High Chaparral 15% 14% 17% 20% 14% 9% 8% 1% 20% 11% 204
Kodiak 7% 13% 20% 26% 17% 10% 5% 1% 17% 6% 416
Mastercraftsman 10% 14% 19% 21% 13% 9% 10% 4% 23% 14% 196
Intikhaab 12% 14% 21% 12% 19% 7% 4% 3% 13% 7% 169
Rock Of Gibraltar 15% 13% 21% 22% 12% 7% 6% 3% 16% 10% 267
Marju 11% 15% 20% 17% 16% 13% 5% 4% 22% 9% 218

 

Distance aptitude next.

What can you expect to be a suitable distance for the average Galileo?

  • There are distinct distance categories: sprinters, sprint/milers, milers, middle distance, long distance.
  • The table shows the rating average of all horses that raced in a given distance group.
  • Horses will probably have raced in more than one group – the rating used is the career-best over the distance, meaning that one horse can have different ratings in different groups.
  • This explains why the overall RF can be higher than in the individual groups.
horses 61,000 73,000 66,000 40,000 30,000 120,000
distance 5f-6f 7f-8f 9f-10f 11f-12f 12f+ overall
RF 62 62 63 64 62 69
             
GALILEO 106 540 839 678 578 1239
RF 69 74 78 81 82 80
vs. average +7 +12 +15 +17 +20 +11

The average Galileo is distinctly better over ground, but average means just that – there will be capable Galileo offspring suited by sprint distances as well!

To give further perspective, here’s Galileo with together with a selection of stallions of varying quality.

horses 61,000 73,000 66,000 40,000 30,000 120,000
distance 5f-6f 7f-8f 9f-10f 11f-12f 12f+ overall
RF 62 62 63 64 62 69
             
GALILEO 69 74 78 81 82 80
Sadler’s Wells 67 71 77 77 78 80
Dubawi 70 75 79 80 83 81
Danehill 75 75 75 76 73 80
Shamardal 72 73 74 76 70 78
Dansili 70 70 73 74 73 77
Pivotal 71 70 71 73 69 77
Montjeu 50 64 70 73 74 76
Teofilo 63 68 73 74 73 76
Invincible Sp. 71 72 70 70 69 76
Oasis Dream 71 71 70 71 70 76
Cape Cross 65 67 71 74 74 76
Selkirk 65 69 70 72 68 75
Danehill Dancer 68 70 69 68 65 74
Green Desert 69 70 69 67 57 74
Giant’s C’way 65 70 70 68 69 75
Singspiel 61 66 69 70 70 74
Red Ransom 64 68 70 69 69 73
Exceed & Excel 71 69 67 63 66 74
King’s Best 63 67 69 68 65 72
Cadeaux Gen. 67 68 64 65 59 72
Dutch Art 68 67 68 70 65 73
Halling 56 62 67 70 70 71
Iffraaj 67 68 68 67 66 73
Acclamation 70 67 63 61 59 72
Holy Roman E. 67 67 67 67 60 72
High Chaparral 58 64 67 70 71 72
Kodiac 68 67 65 63 64 72
Mastercraftsman 60 63 66 70 69 70
Intikhab 62 66 66 67 62 70
Rock of Gibraltar 62 63 67 68 66 69
Marju 62 65 65 66 59 69

 

What about Galileo as broodmare sire?

Time to turn conventional wisdom on its head.

When a stallion gets good race-fillies, conventional wisdom says ‘he’ll make a good broodmare sire’. Meaning that offspring of his daughters will have well above average ratings.

So how does Galileo do?

  • We saw that Galileo offspring as a sire averaged a rating of 81, which is 12 above the population average (69).
  • For Galileo as a broodmare sire his average rating drops to 75, which is 6 above the population average.
  • Given that a broodmare sire contributes half of a sire’s genes in a mating, this makes reasonable sense.

There’s more.

  • Whereas Galileo’s offspring as a sire averages 81, when split by sex his sons average 83 and his daughters 79.
  • Compared to the population averages for both, 73 and 64, this shows them to be +10 and +15 respectively.
  • Not all Galileo daughters go to stud, and not all who do have a race-record. It turns out that the overall average rating of producing Galileo mares is 84.
  • More impressive than the overall population, where fillies average 64 and producing mares at stud 77 –suggesting that a lot of lesser female performers from the overall population don’t make it to stud.

Now for the knock-out.

  • Galileo mares come in with an average rating of 84.
  • The offspring of Galileo mares averages 75.
  • That’s nine less than their dams. Going down!

In the context of a selection of other stallions, the same pattern emerges.

The table below is from a sample of broodmare sires with at least 40 ‘offspring’, rated >0.

  fillies mares & their offspring
    at stud    
all sires 64 77 69 -8
GALILEO 79  84 75 -9
Sadler’s Wells 79 86 73 -13
Danehill 78 87 72 -14
Dansili  75 85 72 -13
Pivotal 76 83 71 -12
Montjeu 72 82 68 -14
Oasis Dream 74 81 69 -12
Cape Cross 72 80 70 -10
Cadeaux Genereux 68 78 68 -10
Danehill Dancer 73 81 70 -11
Green Desert 73 78 68 -10

 

The conclusion is that we’re dealing with regression to the mean, and that the conventional wisdom about broodmare sire influence is most likely over-stated.

 

by Karel Miedema (posted June 2020)


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