It is with great sadness that we announce the death of “The Iron Horse” Giant’s Causeway, who passed away last night aged 21 at his Kentucky birthplace Ashford Stud, after a brief illness. Trained by Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle, and widely regarded as the best son of Storm Cat, Giant’s Causeway was an unbeaten Group 1 winner at 2 and earned himself the moniker “The Iron Horse” following five straight Group 1 wins in Europe as a 3YO. His final start, and only one on dirt, came in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs where he again showed his never say die attitude in a marvellous tussle with Tiznow, ending his career having never finished outside of the first two in his thirteen racecourse starts.
Giant’s Causeway stood one season at Coolmore Ireland before unprecedented demand from US breeders saw him relocate to Ashford. He made an immediate impact with that first crop which included Europe Champion 2YO and top 3YO Shamardal, unbeaten 2000 Guineas winner Footstepsinthesand, Coronation Stakes winner Maids Causeway and North American Grade 1 winners Aragorn and My Typhoon. This spectacular success continued with his Ashford crops, resulting in him becoming the first horse since Danzig to top the General Sires’ list on three occasions. Throughout his eighteen years at stud, Giant’s Causeway sired an incredible 31 G1 winners worldwide, and will leave behind a long-lasting legacy as a successful sire of sires and top broodmare sire.
“To foal, raise and race a horse of Giant’s Causeway’s caliber is every owner/breeder’s dream, so for him to stand as a stallion at his birthplace, and go on to be a three-time Champion Sire is nothing short of sensational,” commented Coolmore America manager Dermot Ryan. “Giant’s Causeway was a once in a lifetime horse, and I would like to thank the owners, the Magnier and Tabor families, for entrusting us with his stud career. I would also like to extend my gratitude to all of the stallion handlers at Ashford past and present for providing the highest level of care for Giant, in particular Blaise Benjamin and Richard Barry. He will be a huge loss not just to us, but to the industry as a whole.”