It’s a very controversial opinion, but I think Galleo Conti is overrated. He is the brother of the great Silviniaco Conti, one of the best staying chasers in the past decade. A 2-time King George winner, a Grade 1 winning machine on a flat track, who was able to bully his rivals from flag to post. Naturally, with such a legend in his pedigree, the focus was always going to be on Galleo Conti.
He has delivered on several occasions and confirmed his wellbeing with a win in a bumper at Moulins in June. He wasn’t bought to win bumpers however, and a tilt at the Grade 3 Prix Questarabad Hurdle at Auteuil followed. On this occasion, he ran with great credit, but was outstayed by the very promising James Du Berlais. On the face of it, that was a promising run, but the time does not suggest it was that strongly run and the fact he was easily outstayed in the home straight is a concern.
Obviously, with this pedigree, he is bred to go chasing. He has now won 2 chases, at Clairefontaine and Auteuil. In truth, he has won on both occasions without any degree of difficulty. He won by 10 lengths at Clairefontaine and 4 lengths at Auteuil. Impressive on the face of it, though most of the horses in behind are likely to end up competing at the lower end of the handicap. Perhaps more interesting is the time of his most recent race. While they went at a crawling pace, when we compare the overall sectional times to those of a Claiming Chase over C&D on the same day, it creates some doubts for me.
Now these are hand timed, with the Claiming Chase taking the banks in the back straight as opposed to the inside fence, so I’m sure some experts will be able to give a more accurate comparison, but the overall picture is there. The slower early sectionals show, as it appears visually, that Galleo Conti ran at a slow pace. Whilst he does quicken nicely in the straight, the overall times would suggest he ran to a mark of around 125-130.
Now before I receive tons of feedback telling me how unreliable sectional times are, etc We do need to consider that the horse is only 4, there is a lot of time on his side and this was only his 6th start under rules. He has won 5 out of 6 starts, with his only defeat coming to the very talented James Du Berlais. In time, I may be proved wrong and he may turn out to be a 170 rated chaser like his brother, but right now he is nothing more than a talented Novice chaser with potential. The media hype and the obsession with the horse and his breeding has perhaps built him into a superstar already, when it seems he has a long way to go.