Footsteps in Quicksand

It was a long time coming but Coolmore stallion Footstepsinthesand finally sired his first Australian winner when Shoes scored at Murwillumbah on Monday.

Shoes (3c Footstepsinthesand – Sweet Trouble by Langfuhr) is from a winning sister to Sydney welter performer Mystery City who also earned black-type at Rosehill and Tamworth.  Sweet Trouble was covered by Footstepsinthesand in her first season at stud and their colt sold for $4,500 at the 2008 Inglis Scone Yearling Sale.

Footstepsinthesand (Giant’s Causeway) was part of Coolmore Stud’s Australian intake of shuttle sires in 2005 which also included Lion Heart and Antonius Pius.

Lion Heart (Tale Of The Cat) enjoyed a successful start to his southern stud career in 2008-09 but the other two have been banished from Australia.

Footstepsinthesand (Giant’s Causeway) was exiled even before his first yearlings appeared at the majors last year.  There were 66 live foals in his first crop, however, only 10 of them made it to the races as two year-olds.

Antonius Pius (Danzig) has been re-routed to South Africa after covering over 300 mares during four seasons in the Hunter Valley.  He sired Brisbane winner Big Tony and four country winners in 2008-09.

Coolmore shuttled High Chaparral (Windsor Park) and One Cool Cat (Cambridge) to New Zealand in 2005 with contrasting results.

High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells) sired G2 QTC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Shoot Out in his first crop.  His yearlings are in demand at Karaka and he already has a full book for 2009.

One Cool Cat (Storm Cat) sired top-class colt Winter King in his initial crop but the rest of his Anzac two year-olds sank without trace.  The writing was on the wall well before Sir Patrick Hogan’s recent announcement that the horse is no longer a commercial proposition in NZ.

Home-grown stallion Fastnet Rock (Danehill) was Coolmore’s most successful freshman in 2008-09.  He was a Group 1 winner of the VRC Newmarket and MRC Oakleigh Plate.

Apart from 12 individual winners in Australia, he also sired another six black-type placegetters who will surely salute before we’re too far into the spring carnivals.

Fastnet Rock was prepared by Paul Perry as was champion sprinter Choisir.  The Newcastle trainer sold his Royal Ascot hero to Coolmore Stud in 2003 and the Irishmen reciprocated when Fastnet Rock failed to make a $300,000 reserve at the Inglis Easter yearling sale.

Choisir has been a cash cow for Coolmore since he began reverse shuttling in 2003.  He was Australia’s champion third-season sires in 2008-09 and fellow Coolmore shuttlers from that year’s intake – Rock Of Gibraltar and Johannesburg – finished in the Top 6 of that premiership.