Richest race horse ever worth £180m dies aged 23 after ‘chronic’ injury

The horse racing community is in mourning this afternoon after the tragic death of world-renowned sire Galileo.

He was the father of arguably the greatest racehorse ever in the form of Frankel – and was the son of iconic horse Sadler's Wells.

During his eight-race career, he scooped up £1.6m in prize money after winning the 2001 Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and King George.

But his real money-making came after his retirement as he became a champion sire at stud.

Charging £600,000 for each go during his heyday, Galileo is said to be worth around £180m after being a sire for 91 Group 1 winners.

A statement from Coolmore, the HQ of the world's largest breeding operation of thoroughbred racehorses, this afternoon read: "Regretfully our world-renowned Champion Sire Galileo was put to sleep earlier today on humane grounds owing to a chronic, non-responsive, debilitating injury to the left fore foot."

Owner and former Manchester United shareholder John Magnier added: "It is a very sad day.

"But we all feel incredibly fortunate to have had Galileo here at Coolmore. I would like to thank the dedicated people who looked after him so well all along the way.

"He was always a very special horse to us and he was the first Derby winner we had in Ballydoyle in the post M V O’Brien era. I would also like to thank Aidan and his team for the brilliant job they did with him.

"The effect he is having on the breed through his sons and daughters will be a lasting legacy and his phenomenal success really is unprecedented."

The news broke live on ITV racing this afternoon, with presenter Ed Chamberlin sharing the bad news on air.

TV racing pundit Jason Weaver said: "It's an absolute travesty.

"Not only his ability on the racecourse, what he's done in the stallion stud is absolutely outstanding.

"Words are not strong enough. All of those champions he has produced."

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