It was another great season on the breeding front and here are some of the highlights of the 2017-2018 term as seen through the eyes of Sarah Whitelaw.
Deceased sire Captain Al, who is South Africa’s Champion Sire for 2017-2018 according to statistics in both Sporting Post and Arion, enjoyed posthumously one of his best ever seasons.
The Cape Guineas winner was represented by no fewer than 13 South African black type winners during this season, with his total including five individual Gr1 winners.
Captain Al, whose son, Captain Lars, has won seven times in Britain in 2018, achieved the very rare Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas/Cape Guineas double last season, with daughter Snowdance and son Tap O’ Noth respectively winning those Cape classics. His other notable performers last season have been Captain America and Undercover Agent, first and second in Saturday’s Gr1 Champions Cup (Tap O’ Noth filled the fourth berth) and Gr1 winning sprinter, Sergeant Hardy.
Captain Al looks poised for another memorable season in 2018-2019, with his representatives set to include the likes of unbeaten Langerman winner, One World, and Golden Slipper queen, Celtic Sea.
One of the best stallions ever bred in South Africa, deceased Jet Master is another Cape Guineas winning champion sire and the charismatic son of Rakeen continued to make his presence felt during the 2017-2018 season, through his sire sons and broodmare daughters. Jet Master’s sons, Pomodoro and Master Of My Fate, both made tremendous starts with their first 2yos, with Pomodoro’s first crop yielding Gr1 Thekwini Stakes winner, Return Flight, and the high class, if somewhat unlucky, Cirillo, while Master Of My Fate (South Africa’s Leading First Crop Sire by winners) has been represented by nine first crop winners, headed by Somerset 1200 winner and Premiers Champion Stakes third, Twist Of Fate.
Another son of the former Horse Of The Year, the deceased Royal Air Force, was responsible for Diana Stakes winner, Goodtime Gal and Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate runner up, Copper Force.
As a broodmare sire, Jet Master was responsible for six stakes winners during 2018, including unbeaten rising star, Rainbow Bridge, Camellia Stakes winner, Green Plains, and Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery winner, Ronnie’s Candy.
While Silvano was not represented by a single Gr1 winner during this season, the evergreen son of Lomitas nonetheless continued to enjoy plenty of success. Despite his progeny failing to land one of the country’s major races, Silvano offspring banked over R19 million in the past local season, and he was represented by 11 South African stakes winners in 2017-2018, including Gold Bracelet winner, Miyabi Gold and Gr2 WSB 1900 victor, Elusive Silva.
His son, Bold Silvano, enjoyed his first Gr1 success as a stallion in 2017-2018, when Bold Respect captured the Gr1 Tsogo Sun Sprint, while another champion son of Silvano enjoyed notable first crop sales ring success – Vercingetorix had a yearling from his first crop fetch R2,2 million at the 2018 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale.
Silvano, whose Guineas winning son, Janoobi, captured the 2018 Gr2 Zabeel Mile, also enjoyed good success as a broodmare sire in 2017-2018. His daughters were responsible for the likes of Gr2 Joburg Spring Challenge winner, Wonderwall, Golden Horseshoe hero Barahin and Gr1 Sun Met runner-up Last Winter, Diana Stakes winner Goodtime Gal, and Ruffian Stakes winner, Dagmar.
Gimmethegreenlight & Twice Over
With Captain Al and Jet Master deceased, and the likes of Dynasty and Silvano in their later years, it was heartening to see younger stallions such as Gimmethegreenlight and Twice Over make their presence felt during the past racing season.
More Than Ready’s son, Gimmethegreenlight, confirmed himself as one of the better young stallions around with top class 3yo’s Surcharge, Green Top and Green Plains and was also sire of three of the first four home – Barahin, Sulkaand Crown Guardian – in the Gr2 Durban Golden Horseshoe.
Four time Gr1 winner, and charismatic European champion, Twice Over, also stamped himself as a leading light among the young local stallions, with his first crop having produced all of Gr1 Vodacom Durban July winner, Do It Again, Gr1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion star, Sand And Sea, and impressive Gr3 Highlands Stud Winter Derby victor, Doublemint.
A few local broodmares continued to build on already formidable produce records, with the likes of Minelli, Strawberry Lane, Sweet Virginia, and Wintersweet just a few whose progeny lit up the South African turf during 2017-2018.
Elliodor’s daughter, Minelli, best known as dam of champion sprinter, Val De Ra, produced her fifth individual stakes winner when her Oratorio son, Cue The Music, landed the Gr3 Godolphin Barb Stakes, while Jallad’s daughter, Strawberry Lane, came up with her second Gr1 winner – Cape Guineas winner Solo Traveller being the first – when her Western Winter filly, Redberry Lane, won July’s Gr1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes.
Tough as teak racemare, Sweet Virginia, already dam of Hong Kong Gr3 winner Horse Of Fortune, made news as the dam of July/Daisy Guineas winner, Do It Again, while Wintersweet achieved a remarkable feat when her sons Tap O’ Noth (Gr1 Cape Guineas) and Strathdon (Gr3 Cape Summer Stayers H’cp) won graded races on the same day at Kenilworth!
Another deceased sire to have made a considerable impact this past season was triple Champion Sire, Western Winter. He was sire of the season’s Gr1 winners Attenborough and and Redberry Lane, Dubai Gr3 winner Light The Lights, Gr1 Sun Met runner up Last Winter, and high class dual stakes winning filly, Fresnaye, second in Saturday’s Gr3 Final Fling Stakes.
The sire of boom young stallion, What A Winter (whose star performers included Dutch Philip, Magical Wonderland and Clouds Unfold), Western Winter was also broodmare sire of Hong Kong sensation, Singapore Sling, and is the sire of the mentioned Wintersweet.