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Racing silks of Michael Tabor.svg
Racing colourss of Michael Tabor
SireGiant's Causeway
GrandsireStorm Cat
DamsireRainbow Quest
Foaled15 February 2002
CountryGreat Britain
BreederHascombe and Valiant Stud
OwnerMichael Tabor & Sue Magnier
TrainerAidan O'Brien
Record3: 3-0-0
Major wins
Killavullan Stakes (2004)
2000 Guineas Stakes (2005)
Last updated on 21 June 2007

Footstepsinthesand (foaled 15 February 2002) is a retired, undefeated Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire who was bred in the United Kingdom but trained during his racing career in Ireland. He won both his races as a two-year-old in 2004 and won the 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket on his three-year-old debut in 2005. Footstepsinthesand sustained an injury during the race and never ran again, retiring to stud undefeated after a career of only three races.


Footstepsinthesand is a bay horse standing 16.1 hands high,[1] bred at Cheveley, near Newmarket, Suffolk by Anthony Oppenheimer's Hascombe and Valiant Stud.[2] He was one of the first foals sired by the European Horse of the Year Giant's Causeway out of the mare Glatisant.

Giant's Causeway has sired the winners of over 300 races, including the winners of 26 Group One/Grade I races. His most successful progeny include Aragorn, Shamardal and Eskendereya. Glatisant, who was bred and raced by Philip Oppenheimer was a successful racehorse who won the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood in 1993.[3] Footstepsinthesand is inbred 3x4 to the stallion Blushing Groom. This means that Blushing Groom appears in both the third and fourth generations of his pedigree, see below

As a yearling Footstepsinthesand was sent to the Tattersalls October sales where he was bought for 170,000gns by the bloodstock agent Dermot "Demi" O'Byrne acting on behalf of Michael Tabor.[4] The colt was sent into training with Aidan O'Brien at Ballydoyle.

Racing career[edit]

2004: two-year-old season[edit]

Footstepsinthesand's two-year-old career consisted of two races, run eight days apart in October 2004. He made his debut in a twenty runner maiden race at Naas in which he started favourite at 3/1, just ahead of his stable companion Olympic. Ridden by Colm O'Donoghue Footstepsinthesand led from the start and pulled away in the last two furlongs to record an "impressive" four and a half length win, despite being eased down in the closing stages.[5]

He was then immediately moved up to Group Three standard for the Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown. Despite the race attracting representatives from the leading Irish stables of John Oxx, Dermot Weld and Jim Bolger, O'Brien's colt was sent off the odds-on favourite. Footstepsinthesand was positioned in second place by Jamie Spencer before being sent to the lead entering the straight. He soon went clear and ran on to win "comfortably" by two lengths from Gaff, with the rest of the field a further seven lengths back.[6] Immediately after the race, bookmakers offered a price of 25/1 for the following year's 2000 Guineas.[7]

2005: three-year-old season[edit]

In 2005 Footstepsinthesand was sent straight for the 2000 Guineas Stakes without a prep race. He did however, attract attention in the buildup to the race: he was the selected mount of O'Brien's new stable jockey Kieren Fallon in exercise,[8] and later reports from Ballydoyle claimed that he was "burning up" the gallops in training.[9]

Footstepsinthesand was made 13/2 third favourite behind two other unbeaten colts; Dubawi representing the Godolphin team and the Michael Stoute-trained Rob Roy. Ridden by Kieren Fallon Footstepsinthesand raced keenly down the centre of the Rowley Mile course before taking the lead a furlong and a half from the finish. Although he drifted to the left in the closing stages he was not seriously challenged and won by one and three quarter lengths from Rebel Rebel, with Kandidate third.[10]

Commenting on the race the Independent called the winner "an outstanding individual, full of quality and vitality", while pointing out that the placed horses were unknown outsiders, making the value of the form questionable. The bookmakers responded by making Footstepsinthesand 6-1 joint-favourite for The Derby[11]

Footstepsinthesand returned from the race with a foot injury, later described as a "stone bruise".[12] The injury did not respond to treatment and his retirement was announced in June.[13]


In the 2005 World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings Footstepsinthesand was given a rating of 116, fourteen pounds below the topweight Hurricane Run.[14]

Stud career[edit]

Footstepsinthesand retired to stand for his owners' Coolmore Stud. His early retirement meant that he was able to begin his stud career at Coolmore's Australian base in the Hunter Region, New South Wales in 2005 before being shuttled back to their Irish base at Fethard, County Tipperary for the Northern Hemisphere breeding season.[15] He was also shuttled to stand at Haras La Mission in Argentina in 2007.[16]

His stud fee for 2011 was €10,000.[1]

He has produced eight Group winners from his first two crops including the Group One winners Shamalgan (Premio Vittorio di Capua) and Chachamaidee (Matron Stakes).[17]


Pedigree of Footstepsinthesand (GB), bay stallion, 2002[18]
Giant's Causeway (USA)
Storm Cat (USA)
Storm Bird Northern Dancer
South Ocean
Terlingua Secretariat
Crimson Saint
Mariah's Storm (USA)
Rahy Blushing Groom*
Glorious Song
Immense Roberto
Glatisant (GB)
Rainbow Quest (USA)
Blushing Groom* Red God
Runaway Bride
I Will Follow Herbager
Where You Lead
Dancing Rocks (GB)
Green Dancer Nijinsky
Green Valley
Croda Rossa Grey Sovereign
Crenelle (Family: 1-e)


  1. ^ a b "Stallions :: Footstepsinthesand". Coolmore. Archived from the original on 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  2. ^ "Hascombe and Valiant Stud". 1937-06-11. Archived from the original on 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  3. ^ "Footstepsinthesand pedigree". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  4. ^ "Glatisant (GB) progeny sales record". Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  5. ^ "Tifrums EBF Maiden Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  6. ^ "Killavullan Stakes result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  7. ^ "icLiverpool - Rain's a pain for Marlborough". 2004-10-26. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  8. ^ "Fallon gets to know Classic hopes". 2005-03-20. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  9. ^ "Brittain remains a Classic romantic". The Independent. 2005-04-24. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  10. ^ "2000 Guineas result". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  11. ^ "Footsteps creates an indelible imprint". The Independent. 2005-05-01. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  12. ^ "Fallon factor hidden by O'Brien multiple choice". The Independent. 2005-05-20. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  13. ^ Armytage, Marcus (2005-06-24). "Guineas star retires to stud". Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  14. ^ "The 2005 World Thouroughbred Racehorse Rankings". 2005-12-31. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  15. ^ "Footstepsinthesand to Stand in Ireland". 2005-11-27. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  16. ^ "Footstepsinthesand to shuttle to La Mission in Argentina". Thoroughbred Times. 2007-05-13. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  17. ^ "Footstepsinthesand Stud Record". Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  18. ^

External links[edit]