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  Sunday, 3 June, 2001, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Glory beckons Irish raider
Galileo was impressive in his last outing in May
Galileo was impressive in his last outing in May
BBC Sport's Cornelius Lysaght previews the Epsom Derby and believes Ireland will be celebrating again on 9 June.

Victory for Galileo in the Vodafone Derby would clearly be welcome news for a variety of people.

It would be great for those who are backing the colt for the premier Classic, after his recent and impressive success at Leopardstown in Ireland.

There would be widespread happiness inside Irish racing if Galileo could bring the prestigious prize back to Ireland for the second year running, following Sinndar's brilliant win 12 months ago.

It would also be a major boost for the country's racing industry which has been severely disrupted by a foot-and-mouth ban this year.

Such a result would be even more significant for the world's bloodstock industry.

Michael Kinane will partner Galileo
Michael Kinane will partner Galileo

Millions of pounds change hands every year for foals, yearlings and young horses some of whom, it is hoped, might one day be good enough to line up at Epsom.

Extraordinarily, Sadler's Wells, rated the greatest stallion of all, and the sire of Galileo, has never fathered the winner of a Derby at Epsom.

His females have been more successful, winning three Oaks, the fillies' equivalent of the Derby, staged the day before.

What's more, five sons of Sadler's Wells - Blue Stag, King's Theatre, Tamure, Dushyantor and Daliapour - have been narrowly beaten runners-up in the premier race.

Eye-catching

Despite this lack of success, the price Coolmore Stud in County Tipperary charges for his services has not exactly been spiralling downwards.

But it does leave a disappointing hole in his curriculum vitae that his owners would dearly love to plug.

And the good news is that Galileo is a hard horse to fault.

The style in which he was successful in his most important race to date, the Derrinstown Derby Trial at Leopardstown in May, was exceptionally eye-catching.

A very strong, athletic type of horse, who seems to do everything asked of him effortlessly.

He only seemed to hit top gear in the very closing stages of the race, indicating that the Derby, run over an extra quarter-mile, may yield an even more impressive performance.

Stoute trains Golan and Dilshaan
Stoute trains Golan and Dilshaan

Both his trainer Aiden O'Brien and jockey Michael Kinane positively twinkle with anticipation when discussing their colt.

And Sir Michael Stoute, the trainer of the two biggest British hopes, the favourite Golan and Dilshaan, who is third in the betting, was definitely concerned when seeing the quality of Galileo's victory the other day.

O'Brien is in terrific form at the moment.

He ran a total of nine horses in the first two Classic races of the year in Ireland, the 2000 Guineas and the 1000 Guineas. And he won both.

Ironically, Kinane partnered neither, choosing other horses in the same races, in the belief that they had better chances. He will be raring to go at Epsom.

The presence of Galileo, Golan, Dilshaan, and Perfect Sunday, plus three others trained by Barry Hills, make this a vintage version of the world's greatest Flat race.

Dare I say that the perceived wisdom is that Galileo looks the one.

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