Despite the 2018 Sun Met going the way of Australian bred Oh Susanna (Street Cry), South African bred and raced stallions shone on Saturday with seven of the nine feature races going to progeny of locally bred sires.
The Met day truly belonged, however, to the late champion sire, Captain Al – one of the finest advertisements for South African bred stallions in recent times. The eight times champion sire of 2yo’s, and South African champion sire in 2014-2015 was responsible for Gr1 Majorca Stakes winner, Snowdance, Gr1 Cape Flying Championship hero, Sergeant Hardy, and Undercover Agent, winner of the CTS 1600.
The CTS 1600 – won last year by Captain Al’s son, William Longsword – was once again a tribute race for Captain Al, who was also responsible for runner up, Captain And Master. Sergeant Hardy was a second consecutive Cape Flying Championship winner for Captain Al, whose daughter, Carry On Alice, won the 2017 running. Another son of Captain Al, Kasimir, finished runner up in the CTS 1200.
Captain Al is no stranger to making a splash on Met day. The son of Al Mufti – himself sire of 2005 Met winner Alastor – was sire of 2014 Met winner, Hill Fifty Four, as well as such big race winners on Met days as the above mentioned William Longsword and Carry On Alice, while he is also responsible for three Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes winners in the form of Sergeant Hardy, Only Emily and Call To Account.
Captain Al, two of whose sons, Captain Of All and William Longsword, now stand at Klawervlei, is from the Roberto (sire of Al Mufti) male line which is enjoying something of a resurgence.
Dynaformer’s (Roberto) son, Point Of Entry, who ended 2017 as the seventh leading first crop sire in North America, made a very encouraging start with his first two-year-olds last season, including the brilliant and unbeaten G3 winner, Analyze It.
Other sires responsible for a major winner last year included Duporth (Hey Doc), Domesday (Ruthven) and Dynaformer. The latter is also responsible for previous Gr1 sires in Temple City and Purim and is broodmare sire of Gr2 winner, Sharp Susan, the dam of record breaking 2018 Sun Met winner, Oh Susanna. Philanthropist, sire of recent Hong Kong Classic Mile runner up Singapore Sling, is another from the Roberto male line.
Dynasty, once again, was prominent on one of the country’s biggest race days.
The former Horse Of The Year, and four times Equus Outstanding Stallion was represented by his fourth Gr1 Cape Derby winner when Eyes Wide Open downed a star studded field in Saturday’s R1 000 000 contest. Dynasty’s previous Cape Derby winners include the sires, Jackson and Legislate, as well as It’s My Turn. Eyes Wide Open could well join the ranks of the South African stallion band in the not too distant future.
Eyes Wide Open – bred on the same mating as this season’s Gr1 Summer Cup winner, Liege – is from the same Dynasty/Jallad cross as 2016 Derby winner, It’s My Turn, and he was one of two graded winners on the day for his sire. Dynasty’s second Met day feature race winner came in the form of Gr2 Cape Stayers race winner, Let It Rain, a half-brother to another locally bred sire in the form of Soft Falling Rain.
Last season’s Champion First Crop Sire, What A Winter, was yet another locally bred stallion to come good on Sun Met day. The triple Equus Champion enjoyed a notable sales race feature double with sons, Agent Of Fortune and Dutch Philip, winning the Kuda Sprint and CTS 1200. The CTS 1200 proved a bonanza for progeny of What A Winter with the sire’s daughter, Magical Wonderland, finishing third.
The first three home in the CTS 1200 were all sired by home-grown stallions.Seven times champion sire, Jet Master, one of the greatest sires bred in this country, is broodmare sire of Saturday’s Kuda Sprint winner, Agent Of Fortune, while Jet Master’s son, Pomodoro, is sire of Kuda Sprint runner up, Cirillo,.
Pomodoro had just two runners on Sun Met day, with another son, Royal Italian, finishing third in the Listed Tattersalls Summer Juvenile Stakes. Jet Master, also responsible for another promising young sire in Master Of My Fate and damsire of recent Gr1 Paddock Stakes runner up, Lady In Black, is also sire of Saturday’s Gr2 Cape Stayers runner up, Master’s Eye.
Fans of South African bred sires can also take solace from the fact that currently the first two sires on the First Crop Sires List – Pomodoro & Master Of My Fate – are both locally bred stallions, and both are by Jet Master.
Could a locally bred and raced stallion head the First Crop Sires list for a second year running?