New Approach with Kevin Manning aboard
(AP Press)

Much maligned he may have been for his belief that the world was round, the human version of Galileo was not only a man ahead of his time, but his theories cost him dearly for much of his lifetime.

It seems though, that having dispensed his penance for what turned out to be as revolutionary a discovery as any in history, the gods are now smiling sweetly on the equine Galileo, whose feats at stud are beginning to encourage a new belief that, despite his paternal brother Montjeu’s already outstanding achievements, Galileo is on the verge of being anointed the new crown prince.

Their father, Sadler’s Wells has already eclipsed by far the record of the legend, Hyperion, as the most successful stallion in European history, yet for some time there’s been a shadow cast on his status as a sire of sires. Quite why we’re at something of a loss, as he was already the sire to two champion stallions (El Prado in the U.S.A. and Fort Wood in S.A.) besides the very respectable In The Wings in Europe. Montjeu has since stepped up to take a Championship with two winners of the world’s most famous race, and Saturday it was Galileo’s turn to do the same in the English (or “Epsom”, as the poms choose to call it) Derby.

Twice beaten as the pace setter in the English and Irish 2000 Guineas by Coolmore’s Henrythenavigator, Sheikh Mohammed’s hugely expensive investment for his wife, Princess Haya of Jordan, the enigmatic New Approach, did just that in the Derby (took a “new approach”) by sitting in impatiently behind, and swooped to beat the early favorites, Tartan Bearer and Casual Conquest, in the final two furlongs.

Observers of the race would’ve been concerned at New Approach’s obvious desire to get on with things for the first mile and a quarter, as he pulled and tugged at jockey Kevin Manning’s arms, yet he found enough in the closing stages to assert his authority for a comfortable ¾ length victory.