Bomber Under Fire – A Fascinating Duel

First season sires race hots up

The battle for supremacy amongst the class of first crop stallions never fails to grab the imagination and this season, the race to freshman sire honours has all the makings of a hotly contested affair.

According to latest NHRA statistics, the main protagonists appear to be Lancaster Bomber and Fire Away, who are currently engaged in a titanic tussle, with little separating them as far as earnings are concerned.



Remarkably, both are sons of War Front, Danzig’s most accomplished stallion son barring Danehill and Green Desert.

A champion on the track and also a leading American stallion, War Front’s influence is becoming ever more conspicuous as a sire of sire, via his sons War Command, Declaration Of War and US Navy Flag. Lancaster Bomber and Fire Away are his first sons to enter stud in South Africa.

A Gr1 winner from a classic family, Lancaster Bomber arrived after spending one season at the National Stud in Newmarket but sadly, his tenure at Drakenstein Stud was a brief one, his demise at the premature age of seven coming as a huge shock.

Lancaster Bomber – doing well (Pic – Drakenstein Stud)

Ironically, he was the first to sire a stakes winner, his Glen Kotzen-trained daughter Rascova leading home an all-filly finish to the Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on Met day. Although he has sired just three winners to date, that total is sure to grow, considering he has a good number of placed runners knocking at the door.

Lancaster Bomber will be represented at the upcoming National Yearling Sale by a sizeable draft of 26 youngsters from his second and final crop, amongst which offspring by Gr1 winners Inara, Gabor, Siren’s Call and Chestnuts N Pearls, as well as a full-brother to Rascova.

On earnings, Wilgerbosdrift-based Fire Away narrowly trails Lancaster Bomber, yet he is well ahead on number of winners, with six of his first crop progeny having greeted the judge.

Top of the heap is the filly Luna Halo, who gilded the fledgling career of her sire with a storming victory in the Listed East Cape Fillies Nursery at Fairview.

Fire Away’s first crop runners also include stakes-placed Fire ‘N Flames. Runner-up in the Listed Storm Bird Stakes, the Johan Roux-trained youngster was his sire’s first winner and recently notched up a second career win.

Fire Away in race action

Interestingly, his latest victory came at the expense of the Wernars homebred Pure Predator, who just happens to be by another freshman sire, New Predator.

A dual Gr2 winning sprinter/miler raced by the Wernars, this Australian-bred grandson of the revered Galileo is off to a flyer with his first runners and already boasts a tally of four winners from just seven runners.

That New Predator started his stallion career under the radar would be an understatement.

New Predator

Notwithstanding the fact that he mixed it up with the best on the track, one can but speculate that the lack of a Gr1 victory on his resume saw him eschewed by Western Cape studs.

Be that as it may, he ended up standing in KZN and it would be fair to say that he did not have access to the same quality of mares as did Fire Away and Lancaster Bomber, which makes his early success that more remarkable.

At this stage, he looks to be the joker in the pack and who knows, may well give the leading pair a run for their money, should he continue in similar vein.

New Predator’s ten lots catalogued for the National Sales include a half-sister to the Gr1-performed Gr3 winner Neptune’s Rain and foals out of stakes winning mares The Angelus, Alinga and Winter Passion.

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