Teofilo was bred by Jim Bolger in Ireland and foaled on February 9th 2004. The son of English and Irish Derby winner ‘Galileo’ out of the Danehill mare ‘Speirbhean’, the dark bay Irish thoroughbred had a winning pedigree.
Sent into training at his breeders’ stables in Kilkenny, Teofilo showed immediate potential and looked a star in the making. That promise was shown on his racecourse debut as a two-year-old, winning a Curragh maiden by a neck from ‘Red Rock Canyon’ on 16th July 2006.
His second race would be the Group Three Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown just thirteen days after his debut. He comfortably won that race, beating English Colt ‘Middleham’ with relative ease.
He again stepped up in class for his third start, contesting the Group Two Futurity Stakes at The Curragh. It was a tough step up but he held on to win by a head from ‘Eagle Mountain’, son of seven-time Group One winner ‘Rock of Gibraltar’.
Bolger moved Teofilo up to Group One, just two months after his debut, when he was entered into the National Stakes at The Curragh. The race is one of the most prestigious juvenile races in Ireland and he found himself up against other top two-year-olds. He raced prominently, taking the lead two-furlongs out and winning impressively by over a length from Ballydoyle Colt ‘Holy Roman Emperor’.
The final race of his two-year-old season was also his first outside of Ireland and turned out to be his last race ever. On October 14th 2006, Teofilo lined up for the Group One Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. He started slowly but took the lead a furlong out and stayed on strongly to win by a head, with ‘Holy Roman Emperor’ again in second.
At the end of the season, he was the highest rated two-year-old in Europe with an official rating of 123. He also won the Cartier Award for European Champion Two-Year-Old and was made favourite for both the 2000 Guineas and the Derby for the following season.
In April 2007, there were rumours that all was not well with Teofilo although they were all denied by Bolger. A week before the 2000 Guineas, it was reported that he was training well and looking good to challenge for the triple crown that season. Just three days before the race, Bolger withdrew him and admitted the horse had suffered a serious knee injury.
He was kept in training, with connections hoping he would return to racing but his retirement was confirmed in August 2007. Teofilo had the potential to be one of the greatest horses of all-time, but his career was sadly cut short. Between July and October 2006, Kevin Manning rode him to five brilliant victories in a short but successful racing career.
Still owned by Jim Bolger, he was sent to Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley stud operation in Ireland after his racing career was over. He has gone on to become a successful sire and still stands as stallion there to this day, with him being shuttled to Australia for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season.
His first crop of foals made their racecourse debuts in 2011, with the standouts being Tyros Stakes winning filly ‘Remember Alexander and Group One Dewhurst Stakes winner ‘Parish Hall’. The biggest success for him as a stallion came in June 2013, when ‘Trading Leather’ won the Irish Derby which was followed three months later by first-crop daughter ‘Voleuse de Coeurs’ winning the Irish St. Leger.
To date, he has sired 89 Stakes performers with 28 Group winners, including ten individual Group One winners and 26 Listed race winners. At twelve-years-old and having sired the winners of over 400 races in total, he now commands a fee of 50,000 Euros in Europe and $44,000 in Australia and New Zealand.
Although a promising race career was cut short, Teofilo retired unbeaten over 7f with two Group One victories. People may wonder how good he could have become on the racecourse but he has gone on to great success as a stallion. He is now a leading sire and has produced several major race winners, with his progeny accumulating a total of about £5million in prize money.