The statistical curmudgeon at Boojum’s Bonanza has created a minor tidal wave in the blogosphere with his contentious comparison of the noted international sire Giant’s Causeway, who stands in Kentucky at Coolmore/Ashford Stud, and the US champion racer Lemon Drop Kid, who stands a few miles away at Lane’s End Farm.
They are exact contemporaries in their stud careers, and both have had noted success. Generally, Giant’s Causeway is considered a much better (or more fashionable) sire, whereas Lemon Drop Kid is one of the most underappreciated stallions in Kentucky.
Boojum undertook to illustrate this dichotomy of perception through the use of stallion statistics, with sufficient effect to unleash a storm of commentary across the net.
That is good because breeders (and writers and advisers, etc.) need to churn different ideas through their heads. Clears the cobwebs, I’m told.
One who responded to the contrary was commentator Tinky in this note.
He asserted that statistics represent a defined set of results but do not present a complete picture of complex systems, and horse racing and breeding is nothing if not a highly complex and sophisticated system.
I agree. In addition, I believe that Boojum and nearly all other savvy users of statistics would likewise.
And there is one portion of results from the stud career of Giant’s Causeway that has put all his contemporaries in the shade: getting sons who carry on as stallions. From the earliest results of his first sons at stud (who had their first European crops race last year), Giant’s Causeway had the leading freshman sire in Europe, Shamardal, and a second in the top 10, Footstepsinthesand.
Both were classic winners from the first crop of foals by Giant’s Causeway, were conceived and raced in Europe, and stand there at stud, as well as in the Southern Hemisphere.
There will be several more sons of Giant’s Causeway coming along soon, and some of them will fail miserably. That is inevitable because most stallions are not successful. But, having sired one son who is showing every sign of being a very useful or better stallion and having a second who is within hailing distance indicates that Giant’s Causeway has every chance to be as good as or better than Storm Cat as a sire of stallions.