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Turn Back Time?

Even the most forgiving critic would have to agree that the iron horse Giant’s Causeway has proven a disappointment in his stud career in Australia. Serving some outstanding matrons at his base at Coolmore Australia, his four seasons at stud there resulted in 256 foals of racing age for just 6 stakes winners to date, a far cry from his outstanding performance in the Northern Hemisphere where he is among the leading sires.

From a pedigree viewpoint what is a little puzzling though is the fact that while there are some 250+ foals in Australia, there are only 16 named foals out of Danehill mares. With Giant’s Causeway being by Storm Cat out of a mare by Rahy (TrueNicks, SRO) (whose own broodmare sire was Halo, out of Cosmah), and Danehill being inbred to Cosmah’s half sister Natalma, it looked an interesting play on pedigree. Given that both Giant’s Causeway and Danehill stood their careers at Coolmore Australia, one would think that this cross would be tried more often than what might normally happen. For some reason this did not occur.

Maybe Coolmore Australia would like to turn back time on this as the Danehill mares that did go to Giant’s Causeway have resulted in some very profitable results, including his sixth Southern Hemisphere stakes winner Causeway Queen (AUS), winner of the Strutt Stakes on Monday. Causeway Queen, bred by leading Thoroughbred owner Peter Horwitz and purchased as a yearling by leading syndicator Harry Lawton, is in fact the third stakes winner in Australia by Giant’s Causeway out of a Danehill mare, which is half the stakes winners that he has had in the country. You will note in the pedigree linked to this post that Causeway Queen is an A++ TrueNick rated horse and is not yet a stakes winner in her own pedigree as the Jockey Club database is yet to be updated with this result (Australian data are subject to a short delay before being added to the official database) - further proving the predictive ability of TrueNicks. In a time when the Australian broodmare population is increasingly in need of a stallion to breed to a Danehill-laden population, maybe Giant’s Causeway was a missed opportunity.

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