If anything is capable of stopping the Galileo express in Europe, the Europeans haven't found it yet. Not only is Coolmore's premier stallion sitting in what has become his accustomed position atop the 2013 European sire list, but his son New Approach is leading the European second-crop sire list.
In the major European classics of 2013 (all group I events), the father and son have accounted for the QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas (Dawn Approach, by New Approach), the Tattersalls Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Magician, by Galileo), the Investec Epsom Oaks (Talent, by New Approach), the Prix du Jockey Club (Intello, by Galileo), and, most revered of all, the Investec Epsom Derby Stakes on June 1, in which Ruler of The World led what was nearly a trifecta for Galileo as the stallion's progeny finished 1-3-4. (The second-place horse? Libertarian, by New Approach.)
Ruler of The World is effectively a homebred for Coolmore, which bred the colt in its Southern Bloodstock division and races Ruler of The World with partners. And right now, Coolmore and its partners have to be salivating over their Derby winner's stud potential. Not only is New Approach's performance to date suggesting that Galileo may become an important sire of sires, but Ruler of The World hails from one of the best sire-producing families on the international scene, that of Missy Baba.
A daughter of 1948 Two Thousand Guineas winner My Babu, Missy Baba was a remarkable broodmare indeed. Equaling her six stakes winners would be a rare achievement for any mare, but she accomplished something still rarer by producing both a champion sire and a Broodmare of the Year. The latter, the Buckpasser mare Toll Booth, earned her honors in 1991 after having produced seven stakes winners including 1980 champion sprinter Plugged Nickle (by Key to the Mint).
Raja Baba, Missy Baba’s 1968 colt by Bold Ruler, was the first top stallion produced by this family. A sound but not top-drawer runner who won seven of 41 starts, including three stakes races, Raja Baba proved a much better sire than racer and eventually sired 62 stakes winners, including champion 3-year-old filly Sacahuista and Canadian champion sprinter Summer Mood. He led the American general sire list in 1980. His half brother Sauce Boat (by Key to the Mint) won the 1977 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. I) and did fairly well as a sire in his own right, getting 31 stakes winners from 580 foals.
Although she did not have as spectacular a producing career as did Toll Booth, Gay Missile (Sir Gaylord—Missy Baba) has had more long-term influence. The winner of the 1970 Ashland Stakes, Gay Missile produced four stakes winners and two additional European group-placed winners from nine foals. The best racer among them, Gay Mecene (by Vaguely Noble), was champion older male in France in 1979 but, in common with most other sons of Vaguely Noble, proved a rather disappointing sire considering his ability and pedigree.
It has been left to Gay Missile's daughter Lassie Dear (by Buckpasser) to carry on her dam's heritage, and she has done so splendidly. Not only did she produce four stakes winners including Wolfhound (by Nureyev), highweighted among older male sprinters in England in 1993, but her multiple group stakes-placed son by Roberto, Al Mufti, sired at least 42 stakes winners in South Africa including champions Al Nitak, Almah, and Arabian Lass.
Even more importantly, Lassie Dear's daughter by Secretariat, grade III winner Weekend Surprise, earned Broodmare of the Year honors in 1992 by producing 1990 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Summer Squall (by Storm Bird) and 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy (by Seattle Slew). Both were successful sires; Summer Squall sired 37 stakes winners from 354 foals, headed by 1999 Horse of the Year Charismatic, while A.P. Indy led the American general sire list in 2003 and 2006 and is the grandsire (via his son Malibu Moon ) of this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner, Orb . A third son of Weekend Surprise, multiple graded-placed Honor Grades (by Danzig), also proved a useful sire, getting 34 stakes winners including grade/group I winners Adoration, Honor Glide, Honor Bound, Honor Lap, and Honor Babe.
Lassie Dear also produced the Seattle Slew filly Charming Lassie, whose son Lemon Drop Kid has been yet another successful sire for this family. A son of Kingmambo, Lemon Drop Kid was a grade I winner at 2, 3, and 4, and earned an Eclipse Award as champion older male in 2000. To date, he has sired 67 stakes winners from 758 foals 3 years of age and older, headed by grade I winners Citronnade, Christmas Kid, Lemons Forever, Richard's Kid , and Santa Teresita.
Ruler of The World is a great-grandson of Lassie Dear via her stakes-placed daughter Lassie's Lady (by Alydar), who produced 1989 Sanford Stakes (gr. II) winner Bite the Bullet (by Spectacular Bid) and English stakes winner Shuailaan (by Roberto) as well as stakes-placed Black Mambo and group-placed Love Me True (both by Kingmambo). Ruler of The World is Love Me True's seventh foal and is a half brother to 2008 European champion older male Duke of Marmalade (by Danehill), currently third on the European second-crop sire list.
While he is Irish-bred, Ruler of The World's dam and all four grandparents are Kentucky-bred, and his pedigree reads like an encyclopedia of the best American classic strains of the past 60 years. His closest inbreeding is 4x3 to Mr. Prospector, and he also carries crosses of 5x4x4 to Raise a Native (sire of Mr. Prospector and Alydar), 3x5 to Northern Dancer, 4x5 to the mare Special (dam of Nureyev and granddam of Sadler's Wells), 5x4 to Buckpasser, and 5x6x5x7x5 to Native Dancer. None of these crosses are particularly uncommon in high-class stock nowadays; but their combined presence emphasizes the high quality of Ruler of The World's pedigree. This is breeding the best to the best with a vengeance.
It is perhaps also worth noting that Ruler of The World is bred along similar lines to last year's Epsom Derby hero Camelot, as the latter colt is by the Sadler's Wells son Montjeu out of a Kingmambo mare. Of course, Camelot's successes in 2012 can hardly have influenced the decision to breed Love Me True to Galileo in 2009, and between them Montjeu and Galileo have sired 12 winners, three of them stakes winners, from 25 foals of racing age to date out of Kingmambo mares: good results, but probably insufficient data to proclaim the existence of a nick of the solidity of Phalaris/Chaucer or Fair Play/Rock Sand. But when two of the three stakes winners involved are Derby winners, that seems reason enough to explore the cross further.