Aidan O’Brien has paid a glowing tribute to Footstepsinthesand following the premature retirement of the UltimatePoker.com 2000 Guineas winner.
Coolmore announced the Giant’s Causeway colt would stand at stud in Australia after connections called time on his unbeaten three-race career due to a foot problem sustained in the wake of his Newmarket triumph.
O’Brien told PA Sport: “Footstepsinthesand was a brilliant racehorse and he is by a brilliant sire.
“He showed us he was a class horse from day one at Ballydoyle. His instant acceleration and his great attitude to work made him very special.
“Once he was asked to quicken the race was over.”
A statement on www.coolmore.com said: “A niggling problem with the foot he bruised on the very fast ground at Newmarket has forced Footstepsinthesand’s premature retirement.
“Although nothing major, the injury requires rest, which would rule him out of the summer’s major mile events.”
Footstepsinthesand stamped himself a likely Classic contender when winning the Group Three Kilavullan Stakes as a two-year-old, and he was a well-fancied 13-2 shot in the Guineas.
His one-and-a-quarter-length win over Rebel Rebel at Newmarket was a first major win for the high-profile partnership of O’Brien and jockey Kieren Fallon.
And the win meant he had gone one better than his sire, as Giant's Causeway met with one of his few defeats in an extraordinary career on the Rowley Mile.
It had been hoped that he would follow up in the Irish equivalent, but his foot injury ruled him out, leaving the way clear for Godolphin’s Dubawi, who could only manage fifth behind Footstepsinthesand at Newmarket.
Useful miler Antonius Pius has also been retired to Coomore’s Australian outfit after disappointing when last in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at the Royal meeting last week.