When Not This Time ran out a devastating eight and three quarter length winner of Saturday’s Gr3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs, he brought the limelight back to his sire, Giant’s Causeway, writes Sarah Whitelaw.
A triple Champion sire in North America, Giant’s Causeway is the best racehorse (and sire) sired by former champion sire, Storm Cat, also responsible for leading sires, Forest Wildcat, Hennessy, Harlan, Stormy Atlantic and Tale Of The Cat.
Not This Time, who had previously broken his maiden by 10 lengths, clearly impressed his trainer, Dale Romans, who commented after the romp, “He’s the real deal. He’s spooky good and I think he’s everything I’ve always thought he was. He’s just so talented.”
Not This Time is out of the top class racemare and producer, Miss Macy Sue, whose sire, Trippi, was Champion Sire in South Africa last season.
The colt is one of at least 10 stakes winner in 2016 for Giant’s Causeway, whose son, Destin, was a close second in this year’s Gr1 Belmont Stakes. Giant’s Causeway himself has over 160 stakes winners to his credit, which include more than 30 individual Gr1 winners. Not This Time is yet another example of a high class 2yo sired by Giant’s Causeway, also responsible for the top-flight Gr1 winning juveniles, Take Charge Brandi, Shamardal, First Samurai, Intense Focus, Carpe Diem, Brody’s Cause, and Creative Cause. (The latter is one of the top ten leading First Crop Sires in the US for 2016).
Giant’s Causeway has built up an exceptional record with daughters of Mr Prospector line sires, with this cross producing the likes of Shamardal, US champion and Breeders’ Cup heroine, Take Charge Brandi, as well as the Gr1 winners, Maids Causeway, Red Giant, Heatseeker, Book Review, Blueridge Mountain, Carpe Diem, Brody’s Cause, and Crafty Oak –to name a few.
An outstandingly tough and genuine racehorse, Giant’s Causeway (who was known as The Iron Horse during his memorable racing career) was first or second in 13 of his racetrack outings, and reeled off five Gr1 wins on the bounce when successful in all of the Gr1 St James’s Palace Stakes, Gr1 Eclipse Stakes, Gr1 Sussex Stakes, Gr1 Juddmonte International, and Gr1 Irish Champion Stakes.
Giant’s Causeway’s legacy, however, extends past his own success at stud. He has made a solid reputation for himself as a sire of sires, principally through his champion son, and dual French classic winner, Shamardal.
The latter has over 100 stakes winners to his credit, and is himself a promising sire of sires –Shamardal’s son, Lope De Vega, is currently taking rank as one of Europe’s most exciting young sires, while Shamardal’s Gr1 Eclipse Stakes winning son, Mukhadram, has been fully booked in his first two seasons at Shadwell Stud. Shamardal is also sire of Hong Kong champion, Able Friend, and current Hong Kong sensation, Pakistan’s Star. Lope De Vega, already sire of Gr1 winners, Belardo and Jemayel,, has been represented by 10 individual black type winners in 2016.
Shamardal (also broodmare sire of this year’s Gr1 Irish 2000 Guineas winner, Awtaad),has 3 Gr1 winners to his credit this year, in the form of Dariyan, Speedy Boarding and Tryster and continues to stamp himself as one of the world’s top sires. Another son of Shamardal, Casamento, is currently among the leading first crop sires in Britain and Ireland.
Mark In The Sand
While not in the same league as a sire as Shamardal, Giant’s Causeway’s undefeated 2000 Guineas winner, Footstepsinthesand, has also left his mark at stud, with a tally of 50 black type winners to his credit (including five Gr1 winners), while dual US Gr1 winner, First Samurai, has had three major US Gr1 winners, including Lea, who stands alongside him at Claiborne in Kentucky. Another son, Intense Focus, sired Gr1 Middle Park Stakes hero, Astaire, while Chilean sensation, Amani, is by the Giant’s Causeway son, New Morning.
The former Cartier Champion and Horse Of The Year is also making his mark as a broodmare sire. In 2016 alone, Giant’s Causeway daughters have been responsible for 12 stakes winners, including Gr1 Eclipse Stakes winner, Hawkbill (Kitten’s Joy), Gr1 Kentucky Derby third, Gun Runner (Candy Ride), and Gr2 Indiana Oaks winner, Family Tree (Smart Strike).
Giant’s Causeway is currently eighth on the Broodmares Sires List (according to Bloodhorse.com) and his daughters have produced Gr1 winners in no fewer than eight different countries.
Far And Wide
The Giant legacy has stretched to South Africa, with Giant’s Causeway’s local runners including Gr1 winners, Blueridge Mountain and Our Giant, and he is also damsire of former Equus Champion and young Wilgerbosdrift sire, Soft Falling Rain (National Assembly), as well as Gr3 Champagne Stakes winner, Beach Goddess (Kildonan).
Interestingly enough though, despite his remarkable list of achievements and three general sires titles to his credit (he has also headed the 2yo sires list twice), Giant’s Causeway had a stud fee of $85 000 in 2016, which placed him behind 13 other active stallions in North America and he lags behind the likes of Medaglia D’Oro, War Front and Tapit, among others, as a sire of high priced yearlings.
Now nineteen, Giant’s Causeway has, alongside the likes of Scat Daddy and Harlan’s Holiday and sons Into Mischief and Majesticperfection, in all probability ensured that the Storm Cat male line will remain a prominent source of high class racehorses for generations to come.