Storming Along

Last weekend was a big one for two Ashford Stud Storm Cat-line stallions. Heatseeker (IRE)'s victory in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) propelled Giant's Causeway to the top of the leading sires list. He has three other stakes winners this year, including a pair of 3-year-olds in the graded winner Cowboy Cal and the very promising Giant Moon. Heatseeker is an A++ rated horse, on the basis of the Giant's Causeway/Fappiano cross (he's out of a mare by Fappiano's son, Defensive Play), that also produced graded stakes winning 2-year-old Diamond Omi a few years back.

Heatseeker is also inbred to Blushing Groom (FR), as is Giant's Causeway's classic winner Footstepsinthesand.

Meanwhile, Storm Cat grandson Johannesburg was represented by weekend stakes winners Ten Meropa - who may have placed himself on the Triple Crown trail with a win the Baldwin Stakes (gr. III) - and Gattopardo, who took the Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel. World champion 2-year-old, Johannesburg made a flying start with his first crop, which produced 11 stakes winners, including grade I winner Scat Daddy (who has joined his sire at Coolmore), and graded scorers Teuflesberg (TrueNicks, SRO), Hamoody, Marcavelly, La Traviata, Baroness Thatcher, and Rabatash.

His second crop are only 3, but in addition to Ten Meropa and Gattopardo, they also include Swale Stakes (gr. II) winner Eaton's Gift and Irish group winner Jupiter Pluvius. Ten Meropa, an A TrueNicks cross, is out of a mare by Danehill, and therefore a product of the same Johannesburg/Danzig cross as Jupiter Pluvius. Gattopardo, out of a mare by Fly Till Dawn, is rated A++ on the basis of the Hennessy/Grey Dawn II cross.

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