|Sire||Hail To Reason|
|Breeder||John W. Galbreath|
|Owner||John W. Galbreath|
| National Stakes (1971)|
Anglesey Stakes (1971)
Epsom Derby (1972)
Benson & Hedges Gold Cup (1972)
Vauxhall Trial Stakes (1972)
Coronation Cup (1973)
|Champion 2-Year-Old Colt in Ireland (1971)|
Champion 3-year-old colt in Ireland (1972)
Champion 3-year-old colt in England (1972)
Roberto (March 16, 1969 – August 2, 1988) was an American-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred Champion racehorse. In a career that lasted from 1971 until July 1973 he ran fourteen times and won seven races. He was the best Irish two-year-old of 1971, when his victories included the National Stakes. As a three-year-old, he won the Derby before recording his most famous victory when beating Brigadier Gerard in the inaugural running of the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup. This is regarded by many experts to have been one of the greatest ever performances on a European racecourse.He won the Coronation Cup as a four-year-old before being retired to stud. Roberto required a left-handed track to perform to his best; he never won going right-handed. He was described by Lester Piggott as " a champion when things were in his favour". Roberto also proved to be a highly successful and influential stallion.
Roberto was a bay horse with a white blaze bred by John W. Galbreath at his Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Kentucky He was a son of the successful sire Hail To Reason out of the mare Bramalea, winner of the CCA Oaks in 1962. Roberto's grandsire was Turn-To, a descendant of Nearco, and his damsire was U.S. Hall of Famer Nashua.He was named for Major League Baseball star Roberto Clemente by his owner John Galbreath who also owned the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team.
Galbreath sent the colt to be trained in Ireland by Vincent O'Brien.
Roberto made his debut in the Lagan Stakes in July 1971 at the Curragh Racecourse. He won impressively and then contested the Anglesey Stakes also at the Curragh which he won easily. He returned to win the National Stakes over the same course, drawing comparisons to Nijinsky. He was then sent to France to contest the Grand Critérium at Longchamp Racecourse and finished fourth behind Hard To Beat.
At age three, Roberto began his season by winning the Vauxhall Trial Stakes at Phoenix Park Racecourse and was then sent to England to contest the Classic 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. He was held up in the early stages but stayed on strongly to finish second by half a length to High Top, with the pair finishing six lengths clear of the other runners. Roberto had been ridden in the 2000 Guineas by the Australian jockey Bill Williamson. Williamson sustained a shoulder injury in a fall at Kempton Park Racecourse ten days before the Epsom Derby and after a slow recovery such that he was not able to ride before Derby Day, he was replaced by Lester Piggott.
Roberto started the 3/1 favourite for the Derby in a field of twenty-two runners. He was sent to the front by Piggott inside the two furlong pole but was strongly challenged all the way to the finishing line by the outsider Rheingold. In a closely contested finish, Roberto won by a short head. This victory, which was only confirmed after a stewards' enquiry,was poorly received by the crowd, many of whom felt that Williamson had been unfairly deprived of the ride. The victory made John Galbreath the first person to own winners of both the English and American Derbys, since he had also won the 1963 Kentucky Derby with Chateaugay and the 1967 Kentucky Derby with Proud Clarion. Roberto was then returned to Ireland for the Irish Derby but produced a dismal performance and finished twelfth of the fourteen runners behind Steel Pulse.
In the inaugural edition of the Benson & Hedges Gold Cup in 1972, many racing observers believed that Derby runner up, Rheingold, would prove to be a better horse than Roberto – he had subsequently won the Grand Prix de St Cloud while Roberto had run poorly in the Irish Derby. Leading jockey Lester Piggott abandoned Roberto to ride Rheingold. However, most interest focused on the four-year-old Brigadier Gerard whose presence generated enormous publicity for the race. Undefeated in fifteen career starts, Brigadier Gerard was seen as invincible.Having lost jockey Piggott, and with the first-choice reserve Williamson committed to riding in Belgium. Vincent O'Brien took the advice of Roberto's owner John Galbreath, and flew in the Panamanian-born American jockey Braulio Baeza. Riding for the first time on an English racetrack, according to 'Raceform', a leading publisher of U.K. horseracing information, "Braulio Baeza aboard Roberto was out of the stalls like a bat out of hell." After disputing the lead with Bright Beam (entered in the race as a pacemaker for the absent Mill Reef) he opened up a clear advantage approaching the straight. With Rheingold struggling badly, Brigadier Gerard emerged as Roberto's only serious challenger but after getting to within a length of the Derby winner the favourite could make no further progress. Roberto drew away in the final furlong to win by three lengths from Brigadier Gerard in a new course record time. Brigadier Gerard finished officially 10 lengths ahead of the third horse, Gold Rod, which indicated that he had run up to his best form, however examination of the race film replay showed, and the Brigadier's owner, John Hislop, later acknowledged, that the distance between the second and third was in fact 17 lengths, indicating that Brigadier Gerard, who also broke the course record, may have run his best ever race in defeat.
Roberto ran in two more races in the autumn of 1972 but failed to reproduce his York form. At Longchamp in September, he finished a length second to Hard To Beat in the Prix Niel. A month later over the same course and distance, he finished seventh behind San San in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
As a four-year-old, Roberto was sent to France to contest the Prix Ganay but was withdrawn from the race owing to injury. He then returned to Ireland, where he finished second to Ballymore in the Nijinsky Stakes. In June, he recorded his only success of the season when easily beating the 1972 Yorkshire Oaks and 1973 Geoffrey Freer Stakes and Doncaster Cup winner, Attica Meli, by five lengths in record time in the Coronation Cup.He was a late withdrawal from the Eclipse Stakes due to heavy ground and then finished eleventh of the twelve runners behind Dahlia in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Retired to stand at stud at Darby Dan Farm in Kentucky, Roberto became a successful sire of international influence, with several of his sons going on to be successful sires themselves. Among his notable offspring were 1988 Eclipse Award turf champion Sunshine Forever; 1977 Irish Champion 2-y-o filly (joint) and Cheveley Park Stakes winner Sookera; Real Shadai, the leading sire in Japan in 1993;Brian's Time who sired 1994 Japanese Triple Crown winner and voted Japanese Horse of the Year Narita Brian, ; Australia Melbourne Cup winner At Talaq; British Classic winner Touching Wood; outstanding sire Kris S, who produced five Breeders' Cup winners; leading European miler and successful American turf sire, Lear Fan; and Dynaformer who sired 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.
Roberto died on August 2, 1988, at Darby Dan Farm and is buried in their equine cemetery.
Hail To Reason
|Source Sucree||Admiral Drake|
|Nothirdchance||Blue Swords||Blue Larkspur|
|Galla Colors||Sir Gallahad III|
|Rouge et Noir|
|Rarelea||Bull Lea||Bull Dog|
|Forteresse (Family 12-c )|
Brigadier Gerard (1968–1989) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a racing career which lasted from June 1970 until October 1972, he won seventeen of his eighteen races and has been rated the best racehorse trained in Britain in the 20th century.
Teenoso was an American-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. After showing moderate form as a two-year-old he improved in the spring of 1983 to win the Group Three Lingfield Derby Trial and then won the Classic Epsom Derby, giving Lester Piggott a record ninth win in the race. Teenoso was beaten in his two remaining races that year but showed his best form as a four-year-old, winning the Ormonde Stakes, the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and, on his final appearance, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He proved to be a disappointment at stud.
Braulio Baeza is an American Thoroughbred horse racing Hall of Fame jockey and one of the master Thoroughbred jockeys of our time. In 1963, he was the first Latin American jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. Baeza began his racing career in 1955 in Panama at Hipodromo Juan Franco, and in March 1960, was invited to Miami, Florida to ride under contract for Owner/Trainer, Fred Hooper. He rode his first race in the US in the first race on Keeneland's opening day, 1960, and won it on Foolish Youth.
Rheingold (1969–1990) was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse best known as the winner of France's most prestigious race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Never Say Die (1951–1975) was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. After winning only once from his first nine races, he demonstrated much improved form in the summer of 1954 to win The Derby, becoming the first American colt to win the race in seventy-three years. Later that year he added a second British Classic when winning the St. Leger Stakes by a record margin of twelve lengths. He was later retired to a successful stud career.
Ribocco was an American-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He is best known for his performances in 1967 when he won two of the most important European races for three-year-olds; the Irish Derby and the St Leger. Ribocco briefly held the record for prize money won by a British-trained racehorse.
Commanche Run (1981–2005) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse.
Sherluck was an American Thoroughbred racehorse best known for winning the 1961 Belmont Stakes and ending Carry Back's chance to win the U.S. Triple Crown.
Intermezzo, was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He won two of his three races as a two-year-old in 1968 and went on to record his most important win in the Classic St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster in September 1969. He raced without winning in 1970 and was exported to stand as stallion in Japan, where he had some success as a sire of winners.
Ribero was an American-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career which lasted from September 1967 until May 1969 he ran twelve times and won three races. He is best known for his performances in 1968 when he won two of the most important European races for three-year-olds; the Irish Derby, and the St Leger.
Premonition (1950–1970) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career which lasted from autumn 1952 until July 1954 he ran fourteen times and won eight races. He won the Classic St Leger as a three-year-old in 1953, a year in which he also won the Great Voltigeur Stakes and was controversially disqualified in the Irish Derby. He won the Yorkshire Cup as a four-year-old in 1954 before being retire to stud, where he made very little impact as a stallion.
High Top (1969–1988) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire, best known for winning the classic 2000 Guineas in 1972. High Top was one of the leading British two-year-olds of 1971 when his successes included a defeat of a strong field tin the Observer Gold Cup. After winning a trial race on his first appearance of 1972 he led from the start to beat the future Epsom Derby winner Roberto in the 2000 Guineas. His classic win was the first of seventeen British classic winners ridden by Willie Carson. High Top never won again but finished a close second in both the Sussex Stakes and the Prix Jacques Le Marois. At the end of the year he was retired to stud and became an extremely successful breeding stallion.
Artaius was an American-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a brief racing career which lasted from the autumn of 1976 until August 1977 he ran seven times and won three races. In 1977 he was one of the leading three-year-old colts in Europe, recording Group One successes in the Eclipse Stakes and Sussex Stakes. He was retired to stud at the end of the season and had limited success as a breeding stallion.
My Swallow was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He won eight of his eleven races in a racing career which lasted from May 1970 until July 1971. In 1970 he was undefeated in seven races including the Woodcote Stakes, Prix du Bois, Prix Robert Papin, Prix Morny, Prix de la Salamandre and Grand Critérium. My Swallow set a record for prize money won by a two-year-old in Europe and was rated the best of an exceptional crop of European juveniles. He won on his three-year-old debut, but then finished third to Mill Reef and Brigadier Gerard in the 2000 Guineas. My Swallow finished second in his two remaining races before being retired to stud. He had moderate success as a sire of winners in the United Kingdom and Japan.
Light Cavalry was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for winning the classic St Leger Stakes in 1980. After winning his only race as a two-year-old, Light Cavalry was one of the best three-year-olds in Britain in 1980, winning the King Edward VII Stakes and being placed in the Chester Vase, Gordon Stakes and Great Voltigeur Stakes before winning the St Leger by four lengths. He remained in training in 1981 and won the Princess of Wales's Stakes, but his season was restricted by injury problems. After his retirement from racing he stood as a breeding stallion in the United States and Argentina with limited success.
Connaught was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. Noted for his difficult temperament and front-running style he won seven of his sixteen races in a track career which lasted from October 1967 to July 1970. Owned and bred by Jim Joel, he was trained by Noel Murless and ridden in most of his races by Sandy Barclay.
Moulton was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. After finishing unplaced on his only start as a juvenile, Moulton improved to become a high-class middle-distance performer in 1972, winning the White Rose Stakes, Prix Ridgway and Prix Henri Delamarre as well as placing second in the Dante Stakes and the Prix du Prince d'Orange. He reached his peak as a four-year-old in 1973 when he won the Premio Presidente della Repubblica and finished second in the Eclipse Stakes before recording a 14/1 upset win in the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup. He was retired from racing and had limited success as a breeding stallion.
Scottish Rifle was an Irish-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. After winning one minor race as a juvenile he emerged as a top-class middle distance colt in 1972, winning the Predominate Stakes, Gordon Stakes and March Stakes as well as finishing second in the Irish Derby. He reached his peak as a four-year-old in 1973, winning the Earl of Sefton Stakes, Brigadier Gerard Stakes, Westbury Stakes, Eclipse Stakes and Cumberland Lodge Stakes. He also finished second in the Prince of Wales's Stakes and the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup and ran third in the Washington D C International. After his retirement from racing he stood as a breeding stallion in England and Czechoslovakia but had little success as a sire of winners. He died in 1984.
Ballymore was an Irish thoroughbred racehorse and sire. A talented although somewhat fragile horse, who was difficult to train, he made only five racecourse appearances but recorded two major victories. Unraced as a juvenile he made a notable racecourse debut by winning the Irish 2000 Guineas by three lengths in May 1972. He was beaten in a slowly-run edition of the Gallinule Stakes and then finished third in the Irish Derby before missing the rest of the season. He ran poorly on his first run as a four-year-old but then defeated Roberto at level weights in the Nijinsky Stakes in May. He never ran again and was retired from racing at the end of the year. He had some success as a breeding stallion in Ireland.
Gregorian was an American-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was a very impressive winner of his only race as a two-year-old but ran third on his only appearance at three. He emerged as a top-class middle-distance performer in 1980, winning the Westbury Stakes and the Brigadier Gerard Stakes in England before recording his biggest win in the Joe McGrath Memorial Stakes, which was then the only Group 1 in Ireland open to older horses. He also finished third in both the Eclipse Stakes and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. After his retirement from racing he stood as a breeding stallion in the United States.