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Rite Of Passage beats Age Of Aquarius to win the Ascot Gold Cup 17.06.2010

Rite Of Passage had his sire Giant's Causeway's iron will in the Gold Cup

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham  

Giant's Causeway claims North American sire title


1 Giant's Causeway (by Storm Cat, stands Ashford Stud Ky)
Runners: 369; winners: 160; earnings: $8,806,163

2 Distorted Humor (Forty Niner, WinStar Farm Ky)
Runners: 265; winners: 150; earnings: $8,719,841

3 Malibu Moon (A. P. Indy, Spendthrift Farm Ky)
Runners: 279; winners: 147; earnings: $8,558,872

4 Maria's Mon (Wavering Monarch, dead)
Runners: 263; winners: 142; earnings: $8,233,602

5 Smart Strike (Mr Prospector, Lane's End Ky)
Runners: 272; winners: 146; earnings: $8,067,233

*includes stallions who stand, or have stood, in North America; results are from Northern Hemisphere excl. earnings in Japan and HK; results to December 31.

‘IRON HORSE’ Giant’s Causeway claimed his second successive North American successive champion sire title in 2010, with Group/Grade 1 winners Eskendereya, Giant Oak and Rite Of Passage contributing to a table-topping total of $8,806,163 in northern-hemisphere progeny earnings.

The son of Storm Cat was also represented by the second highest number of individual winners with 162, two behind his former Ashford Stud colleague Johannesburg.

In a year when no one stallion dominated – none sired more than four individual top-flight winners – the race to claim the champion sire crown was a close-run affair with five stallions registering progeny earnings in excess of $8 million.

Second best was WinStar Farm’s Distorted Humor, who was on the mark with Belmont Stakes hero Drosselmeyer. Distorted Humor has a growing international profile, as he is responsible for last year’s Irish-trained Group 1-winning unbeaten juvenile Pathfork.

Third-placed Malibu Moon has scaled the heights from relative obscurity, having begun his stud career at a fee of just $3,000. With three Grade 1 winners under his belt this year – Devil may Care, Life At Ten and Malibu Prayer – he could be the heir apparent to his sire, 22-year-old former champion A. P. Indy, who was in the unfamiliarly low position of 26th last year.

The other two sires to exceed the $8 million mark were the late Maria’s Mon, whose penultimate crop yielded Kentucky Derby hero Super Saver, and Smart Strike, the leading North American sire in 2007 and 2008 when his son Curlin was carrying all before him. Smart Strike’s flagbearer last year was Preakness and Haskell winner Lookin At Lucky.

More Than Ready, who pulled off a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf double when daughter More Than Real won the fillies’ event and son Pluck won the colts’ counterpart, finished in sixth position in terms of progeny earnings.But he led the way when it came to repeat winners, with his record of 97 well in excess of Tale Of The Cat’s next-best figure of 76.

Dynaformer is a sire whose progeny excel on both sides of the Atlantic, and the veteran sonof Roberto boasted the highest number of individual Group winners, with 12 including American Oaks heroine Harmonius, Fillies’ Mile winner White Moonstone and Prix Kergorlay winner Americain.




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