War of Will and the St. Simon Connection


War of Will

St. Simon

St. Simon

Born: 1881 – Great Britain

Son of Galopin – St. Angela (King Tom)

Race Record: 9-9-0-0


The race record of this champion horse is exquisite. He was a master of the track, at any distance, at any time and on any course. Nine races, nine winner’s circles. He did not race in the Classics overseas but he did beat each one of the victors on separate occasions. St. Simon, although not a name you hear too often, stands right next to the most magnificent thoroughbreds of all time including Ribot, Secretariat, and Man o War. His ability to tackle all of the distances that he faced sets him far above as one of the greatest of all time.






In 1883, St. Simon won the Halnaker Stakes traveling 5f and won that race by 6 lengths.

One day later, he won a 6f race carrying 133 lbs.

He won the 5f Devonshire.

He won the 7f Nursery Plate against 21 horses by 8 lengths.

He won a 6f match race against Duke of Richmond.

St Simon accomplished all of the above at the tender age of two.


It would seem that he was on a direct path to be quite the accomplished sprinter given his 2 year old resume. Undefeated under one mile going into his three year old season, St. Simon was just gearing up. He won each of his next four races, the Ascot Gold Cup, The Epsom, The Newcastle and the Goodward. He won at 1 ¼ miles. He won at 1 ½ miles. He won the Ascot Gold Cup by 20 lengths traveling 2.5 miles leaving his competitors in the dust. He was such a master of the track that it took his jockey yet one more lap around to pull him up after he won that 2.5 mile race. His last race was yet another 2.5 mile long romp against his peers.


St. Simon, the English 2 year old and 3 year old Champion of 1882 and 1883, did not have just one optimum distance. From 5f up to 2.5 miles, he conquered them all. The rarity of such talent and the royal blood it would take to accomplish such dominance over his peers is truly beyond comprehension. A true super horse and an unsung hero.


An injury sustained in the New Castle race sent this overachiever into early retirement where his illustrious breeding career began. A stud career that has been felt and dominated throughout the century and continues to present. Some of the most powerful and historical four legged athletes of the past 9 decades have seen their strongest influence come directly from St. Simon and in some cases, his father Galopin sits right below him.


St. Simon was retired to stud in 1886. He produced 423 foals and when combined, they in turn won 571 races. He produced 10 English Classic winners who won 17 Classic races. This is the 3rd highest total of all time. Three of his offspring, Winifreda, Diamond Jubilee and LaRoche won all five English Classics of 1900 – the only time any sire has ever seen that accomplishment.


St. Simon died at 27 years old and his skeleton was displayed in the British Museum of Natural History. His father Galopin (1872-1899) won 8 of his 9 races and was named the leading sire in Great Britain for 3 separate years and Broodmare sire for 4 separate years.


St. Simon became the leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland nine times. He was the leading Broodmare sire in Ireland six times. His sire line continued through Rabelais and the Horse of the Century, Ribot.


He is also a major influencer through many sires including Nearco and his grandson, Northern Dancer.

Northern Dancer, one of the most influential sires of our time, has 15 crosses to St. Simon. Many of our present day runners can gain their strongest influence of St. Simon through Northern Dancer or Nearco with linebreeding leading directly to him and in some cases his father Galopin as well. The highest blood percentage of both Northern Dancer and Nearco can be seen in the linebreeding charts below.


Northern Dancer Linebreeding

Nearco Linebreeding

The great Secretariat and the magnificent Ribot both had their highest blood percentage coming directly from St. Simon and Galopin themselves as well. They did not need to go through another sire which could be one of the main reason why both Ribot and Secretariat were unmatched during their time. The influence of St. Simon is undeniably strong and our present day runners can gain that influence through sires like Northern Dancer, Nearco, Secretariat, AP Indy, Bold Ruler, etc. and many other chef-de-race sires.


Secretariat Linebreeding

Ribot Linebreeding

Out of the 2019 Kentucky Derby entries, the highest influence by almost double the percentage of blood leading to St. Simon through Northern Dancer and Nearco belongs to: WAR OF WILL


War of Will Linebreeding

Those under War of Will (29.69% from Northern Dancer and 10.16% from Nearco) consist of:


Roadster, Code of Honor, Tax, Improbable, Spinoff, Haikal, Maximum Security, Long Range Toddy and Country House all in the mid-teens with top % of blood through a sire that leads to St. Simon (and Galopin).


The others are in single digits or not at all.

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