Monday 19 February 2018

Rugby heroes get some winning tips straight from the horse's mouth

Rob Kearney with Galileo
Rob Kearney with Galileo
Brian O'Driscoll, Paul O'Connell, MV Magnier and trainer Aidan O'Brien with Galileo
Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

IRISH rugby stars have taken a few tips on winning straight from the horse's mouth.

The boys in green are leading the pack when it comes to this year's runners and riders in the Six Nations.

But yesterday Brian O'Driscoll, Paul O'Connell and team-mates caught up with a proven champion, the former racehorse Galileo, at Coolmore Stud in Co Tipperary.

Ulster hooker Rory Best and Leinster full-back Rob Kearney even seemed to share a few laughs with the stallion.

They had no problem sharing the limelight with another icon of Irish sport. The stallion is worth an estimated €40m due to his phenomenal success.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt had a short but glorious racing career, winning six of the eight races he ran between October 2000 and October 2001.

Among his victories were the 2001 Epsom Derby, the Irish Derby Stakes and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes – all in the hands of legendary jockey Mick Kinane.

Since being put out to stud, he has sired a succession of champions, including Frankel, the world's highest-rated racehorse, who retired to stud at the end of 2012 following an unbeaten 14-race career and was valued at £100m (€120m).

Sixteen-year-old Galileo commands some of the highest stud fees in the world.

After their day out it will be back to the rigours of training for the Irish squad, who are based at the Clonmel Park Hotel for a few days ahead of their game against England at Twickenham on Saturday week.

Irish Independent

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