South Africa’s leading active classic sire, Silvano, looks on track to record a fourth General Sires Title come the end of the 2018-2019 South African racing season.
Sarah Whitelaw writes that the evergreen son of Lomitas is responsible for the earners of R18 919 538 – and is currently more than R4.5 million clear of the runner up, Captain Al.
Should he come out top, as statistics suggest he should, Silvano would be crowned Champion Sire in this country for a third consecutive season, with the triple Gr1 winner having been champion in both 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.
Set to be well represented in major feature races still to come, such as the Vodacom Durban July, Gold Cup and Champions Cup, the Maine Chance Farms resident could well build on his lead.
At the time of writing, Silvano had been responsible for eight black type winners who have won 13 official stakes races – he is behind Captain Al this season as far as individual stakes winners – however, with the deceased Captain Al having been represented by an impressive 11 individual stakes winners who, to date, have captured 14 black type races, and counting.
Arguably, the highest point of Silvano’s season thus far came when his brilliant son Hawwaam and daughter Silvano’s Pride won the Gr1 Daily News 2000 and Gr1 Woolavington 2000 on the same day.
Big race doubles are nothing new for Silvano, whose previously notable achievements included son Al Sahem and daughter Wind Chill capturing the SA Derby and SA Oaks on the same card back in 2017. Al Sahem and Wind Chill emulated the Silvano sired pair of Kings Gambit and Happy Spirit who claimed the spoils in the same day’s Gr1 SA Derby and Gr2 SA Oaks back in 2008.
Once beaten Hawwaam, whose six wins from seven starts include a trio of Gr1 victories, has already grossed over R5.6 million in prize money, with the promise of more to come.
Both Hawwaam and Silvano’s Pride (pictured above) were produced by daughters of Jet Master, with the latter also damsire of the Silvano sired stakes winners Sylvan On Fire (Gr3 Yellowwood Handicap), Omaticaya (Jamaica Handicap), Silvano’s Jet (Gr2 Betting World Derby) and Platinum Class (Lady’s Bracelet). Jet Master’s sire Rakeen is damsire of talented Silvano sired full-brothers Sedge and Janoobi.
The champion sire, whose current tally of stakes winners stand at 88, has now been responsible for 22 individual Gr1 winners, with this tally including an impressive four Vodacom Durban July winners – his sons Power King, Punta Arenas and Tellina running 1-2-3 in the 2015 July. Silvano could find another son back in the winners enclosure in this year’s July with Hawwaam among the leading contenders thus far. He is also broodmare sire of likely July runner and recent Gr3 Jubilee Handicap victor Barahin (Gimmethegreenlight).
Silvano also made his mark in South Africa this season as a sire of sires, with his Equus Champion son Vercingetorix having made a blistering start with his first crop of two-year-olds. Unbeaten in four starts in South Africa, and winner of Dubai’s Gr1 Jebel Hatta, Vercingetorix is currently South Africa’s Leading First Crop Sire for 2017-2018, with his runners having earned R1 200 300 – placing the son of Silvano nearly R250 000 clear of runner up Captain Of All.
The latter, ironically, is a son of Captain Al, which means that Silvano and Captain Al are not only 1-2 on the General Sires List but their sons are in the similar position on the First Crop Sires List –and Captain Al himself is top of the Two Year Old Sires List.
Remarkably, four of the top five stallions on this season’s First Crop Sires List were all bred in South Africa, and all five of the top leaders all raced in South Africa.
Should Vercingetorix head this list, he will be the third South African bred stallion in a row to do so, following Pomodoro (Jet Master) and What A Winter (Western Winter).
Vercingetorix, who does hail from a speedy family and whose dam is by speed influence National Assembly, made a quicker start this season than many would have expected from a son of classic influence Silvano who never raced at two. One of his very first runners, subsequent Gr3 Cape Of Good Hope Nursery runner up Fearless Warrior, won on debut – another Vercingetorix colt Astrix was third on the same day -and Vercingetorix’s success steamrolled from there.
Vercingetorix has been responsible for nine first crop winners with his early runners headed by the stakes winners African Warrior (picture above winning the Gr3 Godolphin Barb Stakes), Viking Moon (East Cape Nursery) and Hooves Of Troy (Dahlia Plate). He is sixth on the Leading Sires Of Two-Year-Olds list and Vercingetorix looks a really exciting future prospect –and yet another wonderful advertisment for the South African bred thoroughbred