IN 2016 Shamardal (Giant’s Causeway) became unavailable to commercial breeders. Due to health reasons, Sheikh Mohammed and his team decided to restrict him to mares owned by his family and associates. This came at a time of increasing popularity for the stallion’s services at Kildangan Stud and in 2015, his last year standing publicly, his fee rose to €70,000, having been as low as €20,000 five years earlier.

Now restricted to covering numbers in the mid-60s, Shamardal is continuing to demonstrate his abilities as a sire on the racecourse, and thankfully breeders have access to his sons and will have the chance next year to use one of his best sons, also under the Darley banner, when Blue Point joins their ranks. Blue Point is a four-time Group 1 winner, including two editions of the King’s Stand Stakes and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.