One interpretation of the past season in Europe lends a great deal of extra interest to the coming juvenile season here. Giant’s Causeway, the most important son of top international sire Storm Cat, established himself as a most promising sire of stallions with the high-class results for his sons Shamardal and Footstepsinthesand last season in Ireland, France, and England.
Both young stallions are from their sire’s first crop, which were conceived in Ireland, and both won classics while racing in Europe, where they also stand at stud. From their first crop of racers in Europe, Shamardal was the leading freshman sire, and Footstepsinthesand was among the top 10. Both young sires have group winners, and Shamardal’s daughter Siyaadah won the UAE 1,000 Guineas early in February.
Since his initial season at stud in Ireland, Giant’s Causeway has been at Ashford Stud in Kentucky, with annual excursions to the Southern Hemisphere for supplementary stud duty there.
As a result, the stallion has a very large number of foals, and the best have gone to stud. Prominent among these are First Samurai (winner of the G1 Champagne and Hopeful, standing at Claiborne) and Aragorn (G1 Eddie Read and Shoemaker Mile, Lane’s End), both of whom will have their first foals race as 2-year-olds of 2010, and Red Giant (G1 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship, Three Chimneys) and Heatseeker (G1 Santa Anita Handicap, Hill ‘n’ Dale), both of whom have first foals of 2010.
If the sons of Giant’s Causeway in the States have comparable success in 2010 to the European sons’ record of last year, they will establish their sire as the most important stallion in the world. Not the most consistent sire in America, which honor must go to AP Indy or Distorted Humor, but as a factor for exceptional ability and stallion qualities, Giant’s Causeway would gain extraordinary marks.
Ascending the final rung of the stallion ladder is siring a son or sons to carry on and embellish an important stallion’s career. AP has fiery Pulpit striking sparks with his sons’ success, and if several of the prominent young prospects like Bernardini make a strong showing, these will add greatly to the record of their sire.
But should First Samurai or Aragorn deliver the goods this year, the breeding markets will cleave the sky in their pursuit of Giant’s Causeway.