The 2012 season saw a number of exceptionally well bred, and well performed sires retire to stud. No doubt connections are eagerly awaiting their first foals next year.
Bold Silvano, an Equus Champion and July winner, has the looks to match his pedigree. The champion son of leading sire Silvano has proved very popular in his first season at stud. Ascot’s Stud’s Ashley Parker reports that his home bred star is likely to cover 90 mares in his first season. Among his mates is Bella Cantanta, the dam of German 2000 Guineas winner Caspar Netscher. His other mates include daughters of such world leading sires and broodmare sires Danehill, Giant’s Causeway and Galileo – and clearly Bold Silvano has received tremendous support. One of the new sire’s best bred, and performed, mates is Maritsa. Not only is she a daughter of champion sire Danehill (broodmare sire of Frankel) and top sprinter Marwell, Maritsa is a proven stakes producer. She is the dam of high-class French sprinter Eton Rifles. It is interesting to note that the Lomitas/Danehill nick produced Arc/King George winner Danedream.
Bold Silvano’s stable companion, Sail From Seattle (Gone West), has recovered well from last year’s injury and has covered 90 mares this season.
Highlands Farm’s Pathfork, a G1 winning son of world class sire Distorted Humor (Forty Niner), is another young sire who has made a bright start to his stud career. An extremely fertile horse, Pathfork has proven extremely popular, and is set to cover around 100 mares in his first year. Stud manager, Mike Sharkey, has done a tremendous job with this horse, who had to travel from the US to Europe, and then to South Africa. However, he is said to have let done well, and is now flying at stud.
Many of the country’s top breeders have sent mares to him, and he has received great support in his first season at stud.
The proven sire, Philanthropist, is another just finishing his first season at stud in South Africa. Stallion manager, John Freeman, says this classic sire has been well supported and will have covered 110 mares this season. He has covered both G1 winners and G1 producers, and is tremendously efficient in the covering barn. Philanthropist (Kris S) has done exceptionally well overseas from very limited opportunities, and his record is likely to improve further having covered over 200 mares in his past two seasons in the Northern Hemisphere.
One of the most popular first season sires in 2012, was the magnificent Gimmethegreenlight. The son of boom sire More Than Ready has covered over 100 mares this year, and is expected to have 90% in foal. Extremely popular, 85% of the 2012 L’Ormarins Queens Plate winner’s mares were from shareholders, and he was a hard horse to get to. Gimmethegreenlight is one of just two horses to have defeated Horse of the Year Variety Club (Var) in his 3yo campaign.
Gitano Hernando is one of the best performed horses to retire to stud in South Africa in recent times. A son of the very successful classic sire Hernando (from the same male line as Silvano), Gitano Hernando is looking absolutely magnificent after arriving in poor condition. The G1 Singapore International Cup winner, who defeated the likes of Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird (Birdstone) and the ill-fated gelding Presvis (Sakhee), is proving very fertile, and looks extremely reasonably priced. Standing at Maine Chance Farms, Gitano Hernando’s initial fee isjust R15,000 – which looks a bargain given his race record, pedigree and looks.
Storm Cat/A P Indy success
Two of the world’s top sires, Storm Cat and A P Indy, have been proving to be a powerful combination in modern pedigrees. The grandsons of Secretariat have proved to be a strong cross, and are featuring in the results of some of North America’s top races.
The most recent example is shock Breeders Cup Juvenile Sprint winner, Hightail. By A P Indy’s champion son Mineshaft, Hightail is out of the Storm Cat mare, Stormy Renee. Another son of Mineshaft, produced by a Storm Cat mare, is Florida Derby hero Dialed In.
Another example of this nick working is Sky Mesa. An unbeaten, multiple G1 winner at two, Sky Mesa has become a useful sire in North America, and has produced such G1 winners as General Quarters (Blue Grass S) and Sky Diva (Frizette Stakes). By A P Indy’s fine son Pulpit, Sky Mesa is out of the Storm Cat mare, Caress.
Champion 2yo Hansen, recently retired to Ashford Stud, is another example of the growingly influential cross. By A P Indy’s grandson Tapit, Hansen’s dam, Stormy Sunday, is by the Storm Cat horse, Sir Cat.
It’s Trick is another G1 winner by Mineshaft, whose dam is a descendant of the great Storm Cat. Her dam is by Storm Cat’s fast son Tale of the Cat.
The top-class filly, Eden’s Moon, a graded winner on dirt and turf, is by A P Indy’s son, Malibu Moon, out of a mare by Giant’s Causeway (Storm Cat), while dual G1 winning filly Love And Pride is by A P Indy himself out of a Storm Cat mare.
Yet another top-class performer Eldaafer, winner of the Breeders Cup Marathon, is a son of legendary A P Indy out of a mare by Storm Cat’s dual classic winning son, Tabasco Cat. The latter is also the broodmare sire of Pulpit (A P Indy)’s G1 Florida Derby winning son, Ice Box.
Clearly the Storm Cat/A P Indy cross is one which promises to dominate top-class racing for years to come.