With the Vodacom Durban July being run at Greyville this Saturday, it is fitting to pay tribute to past winners of South Africa’s most famous race who have, or who are making, a name for themselves at stud.
Leading the way is four-times Equus Outstanding Stallion Dynasty.
To date, Dynasty is the July winner who has enjoyed most success at stud, and the former Horse Of The Year , whose remarkable July win is one of the most brilliant in the history of the race, will be represented by three runners in the 2018 Vodacom Durban July, with his trio including race favourite African Night Sky.
It could be said that Dynasty is unlucky not to have more runners in the July, with his son It’s My Turn bizarrely failing to make the final field.
Already the sire of one July winner in the form of Legislate, Dynasty has been represented by 15 South African stakes winners in 2017-2018.
His tally of black type winners this season includes the Gr1 winners Eyes Wide Open (Investec Cape Derby) and Liege (Gr1 Sansui Summer Cup), as well as such high class 3yos as Hashtagyolo and Sir David Baird, and Gold Bowl winner Let It Rain. Dynasty’s versatility as a stallion was also well highlighted in 2017-2018, with Let It Rain landing the Gold Bowl over 3200 metres and his champion daughter Just Sensual picking up the Gr2 Southern Cross Stakes over 1000 metres.
Dynasty also has a number of top class sire sons at stud, including promising first crop sire Jackson, Cape Guineas winner Act Of War, and champions Futura and Irish Flame – both of whom were named Horse Of The Year.
Pomodoro, one of two July winners sired by seven times champion sire Jet Master, is another winner of the big race who has made his presence as a sire felt this season.
The 2012 July winner is leading the First Crop Sires List at the time of writing, with Pomodoro’s early winners including SA Nursery runner up Cirillo, Storm Bird Stakes second Royal Italian and the exciting filly Return Flight, a winner of two of three starts by nearly 20 lengths.
This is a most positive start for a horse who never raced at two and dead-heated in the Gr1 SA Derby over 2450 metres.
Jackson the beaten favourite for Pomodoro’s July has also made an encouraging start with his first 2yos this season and is another high up on the First Crop sires List for 2017-2018.
Yet another July winner who made his presence felt in 2017-2018 is Greys Inn (Zabeel), who won the July back in 2004. His best runner Legal Eagle won the country’s most prestigious 1600m feature, the Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, for a third year running this season, and also added a third win in the Gr1 H F Oppenehimer Horse Chestnut Stakes this season. The multiple Equus Champion and reigning Horse Of The Year has now banked over R11.463 million in stakes.
While a disappointing stallion himself, the 1996 July winner London News made headlines this season as a broodmare sire.
He is broodmare sire of Undercover Agent, who pressed his Equus Award claims when downing older rivals to win the Gr1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge in June. Undercover Agent, who is out of London News’ Winter Oaks winning daughter Secret Risk, had previously also won the Gr3 Byerley Turk and CTS 1600 and has earned his connections an impressive R3 967 845 from just 10 outings.
Bold Silvano, one of four July winners thus far sired by multiple champion sire Silvano, is another former July star to have enjoyed good success this season.
The handsome bay was represented by his first Gr1 winner when his son Bold Respect downed some of South Africa’s top sprinters to win the 2018 Gr1 Tsogo Sun Sprint.
A high class performer at two, Bold Silvano has also enjoyed notable success with his 2yos in 2017-2018. At the time of writing, the former Equus Champion had six two-year-old winners to his credit, including Gr3 Protea Stakes hero Bold Eagle, Devon Air Stakes second Mazari and Listed Lady’s Slipper second and third placegetters, March Music and Klever Kathy.
While neither won a July, Al Mufti and Rakeen – second and third in the 1991 July – are two other examples of July runners who made an impact on the South African stud book.
Deceased champion sire Al Mufti, the sire of another deceased champion sire in the form of Captain Al and broodmare sire of Bold Silvano, is broodmare sire of a slew of stakes winners this season, including graded winners Simply Royal and Magical Wonderland as well as 2018 July hopeful Majestic Mambo.
While not in the same class as Al Mufti as a stallion, the regally bred Rakeen left his mark through a plethora of Gr1 winners, notably Horse Of The Year and seven times champion sire Jet Master. The latter has been to the fore this season through such promising sire sons as the above mentioned Pomodoro and Master Of My Fate.