Galileo (horse) - Racing Career - 2001: Three-year-old Career - Autumn


Galileo returned to Leopardstown in September for a much-anticipated Irish Champion Stakes in which he was matched against Fantastic Light again, this time over the shorter distance of one and a quarter miles. O'Brien entered Ice Dancer in the race to act as pacemaker and ensure a stamina test. The plan failed as the rest of the riders ignored Ice Dancer, who went ten lengths clear before stopping abruptly in the straight. Fantastic Light took the lead two furlongs out, and Kinane immediately moved Galileo up to join him. The two horses raced side by side throughout the last quarter of the mile, with the advantage appearing to fluctuate between them. On the line, Fantastic Light defeated Galileo by a head in a photo finish. The race has been described as one of the most exciting and memorable in the modern history of the sport. O'Brien praised the winner, but felt that he had "messed up" tactically.

For his final race, Galileo was sent to Belmont Park for the Breeders' Cup Classic. He was racing on dirt for the first time, although before traveling he was prepared by exercising on the artificial surface at Southwell. The Classic was expected to feature a third meeting between Galileo and Fantastic Light, but the Godolphin horse was switched to the Turf shortly before the race. In the Classic, Galileo raced behind the leaders for most of the way but was unable to quicken, staying on at the same pace to finish sixth of the fourteen runners behind Tiznow.

Galileo's retirement was announced immediately after the race.

Read more about this topic:  Galileo (horse), Racing Career, 2001: Three-year-old Career

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