Celebrating A Silvano 1-2 In Kings Cup

Homage paid to late great Silvano

The outcome of this year’s renewal of the Listed Kings Cup at Hollywoodbets Greyville no doubt delighted pedigree purists, given that the first two past the post not only paid homage to their late great sire Silvano, they also added further stature to their respective dams.

Trainer Mike Miller enjoys the winner’s enclosure with Narina Trogon and Mathew Thackeray (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Victory in this historical precursor to the KNZ Winter season went the way of Narina Trogon.

He became the fourth stakes winner produced by champion racemate Beach Beauty, the Drakenstein-owned matron whose three-year-old daughter Beach Bomb lifted her dam’s stature to even greater heights with her fine Gr1 double in the Cape Fillies Guineas and Cartier Paddock Stakes.

Narina Trogon initially raced for breeders Drakenstein and looked a fine prospect when he ran out a fluent winner first time out. However, he failed to cut the mustard in five subsequent starts and although he managed to score again after suffering the ‘unkindest cut’, he was still a two-time winner when offered on an on-line auction in September.

Enter Morgan Govender, who purchased the four-year-old for R390,000 through Pound Bloodstock. Now in the care of trainer Mike Miller, it took the gelding two starts to hit his straps and he did so with his stylish two-length win in the Kings Cup.

As for runner-up Celestial City, this was a deserved and vital first bit of black-type, especially as it enhances his prospects as a future stallion.

Purchased for a staggering R7 million at the 2020 National Yearling Sale, the entire’s pedigree has ‘stallion’ written all over it, for he is out of the dual Broodmare of the Year Halfway To Heaven, whose first three foals are Horse of the Year Rainbow Bridge, Gr1 Cape Derby hero Golden Ducat and multiple Gr1 winner and young sire Hawwaam.

Wilgerbosdrift manager Karel Fredericks with the yearling Celestial City (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Remarkably, three years went by before Celestial City finally made it to the track as a four-year-old and much to the relief of trainer Sean Tarry and owner Henning Pretorius, he cracked his maiden first time out over a mile.

A frustrating string of seconds and thirds followed, but after finishing unplaced for the first time in his short career, he regained top form with a vengeance by putting together a fine hat-trick of wins.

Not seen out again for seven months thereafter, he returned to action last month with a promising fourth at Turffontein.

The quest for black type took Celestial City to Hollywoodbets Greyville for the Kings Cup, and he acquitted himself with aplomb in what was both his stakes debut and first appearance at the Durban track.

There’s no question that he will be a valuable addition to the KZN stallion ranks, hence any additional black type will further boost his already considerable appeal.

Finally, what more is there to say about Silvano. Enough has been written to fill an encyclopaedia about the deeds of this grand stallion who passed away almost three years ago, yet continues to cast a long shadow.


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