A number of young South African based stallions have made promising starts with their first runners in 2018-2019.
Heading the way is former Equus Champion Vercingetorix, whose first two runners, Fearless Warrior and Astrix, both won.
Vercingetorix, whose multiple champion sire Silvano is also the sire of Bold Silvano – sire of Gr1 winner Bold Respect, is currently, as things stand, South Africa’s Leading First Crop Sire – an auspicious start for a horse who himself was unraced at two.
Also currently third on the Leading Sires of 2YOs List, Vercingetorix has a large first crop of 2yos representing him this year and the former Gr1 Daily News 2000/Jebel Hatta winner looks on track for a bright future. The Equus Champion made an immediate impression with his first yearlings in 2018 making up to R2.2 million last year, and his good start has clearly carried into this season.
Remarkably, if the likes of Vercingetorix, Capetown Noir, Captain Of All or Soft Falling Rain ended up as Leading the First Crop Sires List for 2018-2019, it will be a third year in a row that a South African bred and raced stallion is Champion First Crop Sire, with Pomodoro and What A Winter having led that list the last two seasons.
Hall Of Fame
The Australian bred multiple Gr1 winner Wylie Hall – who ran fourth to Vercingetorix in the 2013 Daily News 2000 – is a horse who lacks little in pedigree terms, with his multiple champion sire Redoute’s Choice already responsible for champion sire Snitzel and very successful stallions Not A Single Doubt and Stratum.
The bay, who, like Elusive Fort and Pomodoro, won the Gr1 SA Derby, was another who never raced at two, but this did not prevent Wylie Hall from getting off the mark with his very first 2yo runner. Wylie Hall filly Wily Lass gave her sire the perfect start when winning first time out over 800m recently.
A half-brother to a top sprinter in the form of Absolute Champion, Wylie Hall is from a very potent female line, and he is a three-parts brother to the Redoute’s Choice sired Australasian Oaks winner Anamato.
Another son of Redoute’s Choice whose first South African runners are two this season is Zeditave Stakes winner Time Thief.
A three-parts brother to champion filly Laisserfaire and from the family of champion sire Centaine, Time Thief made his mark overseas through his Gr1 Galaxy winning millionaire daughter In Her Time. His first local starter, Rooi Tom, ran fifth at the Vaal over 800m when making his debut in December.
Capetown Noir, who ironically ran second to Vercingetorix in the Gr2 KZN Guineas and third to that champion in the Gr1 Daily News 2000, made the perfect start when his first start, Brandina, won on debut over 800m in December.
Another by the handsome bay, Doublethink, ran fourth on his second start and he could well give his sire another winner this season. A former Equus Champion, Capetown Noir achieved the same Cape Guineas/Queen’s Plate double as did multiple champion sire Jet Master, and the Summerhill Stud resident is out of regally bred Broodmare Of The Year, Akinfeet.
Should the triple G1 winning Capetown Noir head this year’s First Crop Sires’ List he would become the second son of Western Winter to do so in three years, with What A Winter having led that table in 2016-2017.
The sadly deceased Soft Falling Rain, whose sire National Assembly is also broodmare sire of Vercingetorix, was always expected to make a fast start, given that he was an Equus Champion at two and son of a sire noted for siring precocious and speedy stock.
The brilliant Godolphin Mile/Joel Stakes winner’s first two runners both ran creditably to place on their first outings, and Soft Falling Rain is said to have some very highly rated sorts back home. A half-brother to graded stakes winner Let It Rain, and out of a daughter of the outstanding Giant’s Causeway, Soft Falling Rain looks sure to be out of the blocks very soon.
Former Equus Champion Sprinter Captain Of All, one of the very best sons of deceased champion sire Captain Al, is another whose progeny are said to have been pleasing trainers.
The triple Gr1 winner, who downed champions Carry On Alice and Legislate in the 2015 Gr1 Mercury Sprint, has already had three first crop runners, from his first four runners, in the money, and the former Gold Medallion winner is another who should be represented by his first winner very soon. Captain Of All represents a rare outcross for Northern Dancer and Mr Prospector line mares and hopefully he can continue the great success enjoyed by his much missed sire Captain Al.
With another exciting and well performed stallion in Flower Alley still to be represented by a first South African runner, the year 2019 could well prove a significant one for uncovering potential top SA sires for the future!