With the new season underway, and a new round of sales having begun, it would appear to be a good time to view South Africa’s leading active sires of G1 winners. The stallions included are horses currently active at stud only and stats include only locally produced horses.
W ell clear on the log is Western Winter, who is statistically South Africa’s top active sire. The son of Gone West has built up a record comparable with any of the champion sires to have stood at stud here, and to date has produced 19 G1 winners. Currently seventh on the general sires log, Western Winter looks poised to have another successful season with such promising sorts as Capetown Noir and The West Is Wide. His G1 winners have been divided into 12 colts and seven fillies thus far.
Of Western Winter’s 12 crops of racing age, all but three have produced G1 winners. Three of his foal crops have included three individual G1 winners, and they have won at the highest level from 1000-3200 metres.
Next on the active G1 sires list comes Fort Wood, sire of three individuals named Horse of the Year. Fort Wood is not as versatile a stallion as is Western Winter, but he is still an excellent classic sire, whose influence is now extending through his outstanding sire son Dynasty, as well as a host of successful broodmare daughters. Fort Wood is the broodmare sire of leading classic hopeful, Capetown Noir as well as recent feature race winners Cherry On The Top (Fillies Mile) and Francois Bernardus (Graham Beck Stakes).
To date, Fort Wood has produced 14 individual G1 winners. His most successful crop was his first, which produced seven stakes winners – three of which won G1 races. This crop included the mighty Horse Chestnut, who has strong claims to being the best racehorse bred in South Africa. His most recent G1 winner was Forest Path – winner of the The Classic and Golden Horseshoe.
A possibly surprising name on the top sires of G1 winners is National Emblem. The former champion racehorse, one of the best and most versatile horses of his generation, has long been capable of siring real crackerjacks – but his overall statistics don’t match up with some of the names on this list. However, National Emblem has, to date, sired 10 individual G1 winner, including the champions Nhlavini, Rebel King and Carnadore. It is worth noting, that of National Emblem’s ten top level winners, six have won their biggest race over sprint distances.
The magnificent Silvano has come up with seven G1 winners from his first six local crops of racing age. His 3yos this season include the likes of Act Fast and Sedge, and Silvano is also represented by such classy older horses as Heavy Metal, Frequent Flyer and Silver Flyer this season, and he has continued to attract some very high-class broodmares, which bodes well for his future success.
Like Fort Wood, Silvano is known for best as a classic sire, whose stock improve with time. His 2006 crop was a masterpiece – which contained no fewer than four G1 winners – Field Flower, Bravura, Flirtation and champion Bold Silvano. The latter is his sire’s first son at stud in South Africa. Like Western Winter and Fort Wood, Silvano is equally adept at producing high-class colts and fillies alike, and it is hard to imagine that he will not head the general sires list at some stage in the not too distant future.
Caesour is another sire to feature highly on this list. The sire of six individual G1 winners, Caesour accomplished the rare achievement of producing three horses good enough to win at the highest level in three different overseas countries (Irridescence, Perfect Promise, Dane Julia). Like a number of Nureyev’s sire sons, Caesour is also becoming a highly successful broodmare sire. To date, Caesour’s daughters have produced the likes of Dancewiththedevil, Tales of Bravery and ill-fated Paddock Stakes winner Emerald Cove.
KZN’s top sire, Kahal, has been represented by five individual G1 winners. He too is a tremendously versatile stallion, with his progeny including G1 Computaform Sprint winner Noble Heir and Gold Cup hero Desert Links. The Machiavellian horse has been an extremely consistent producer of high-class performers (even if he has never quite captured the imagination of some of the Cape connections), and Kahal has another fine crop of 3yos representing him this season.
He is tied with Captain Al, as both having produced five G1 winners apiece. Captain Al, a multiple champion juvenile sire, has done a sterling job with his first few crops being produced by relatively ordinary mares. Remarkably his 2006 crop (of 86 foals) included no fewer than 12 stakes winners – which is an impressive achievement.
This list will no doubt change over the next few seasons, with such sires as Dynasty, Trippi and Var, to name but a few, moving up the ranks dominated by older stallions.
Sire line maintains fine record in Met prep
When Beach Beauty won Saturday’s G2 Calulo Services Premier’s Trophy, she became the latest Sadler’s Wells line descendant to take top honours in this important Met prep race.
The likes of Chesalon (2011), Cask (2010), Hundred Acre Wood and Hilgrove (2006) are grandsons of the mighty Sadler’s Wells who triumphed in this race in recent years.
The mare also gave her sire, Dynasty (Fort Wood), another contender for the J&B Met – the former Horse of the Year is responsible for current Met favourite Jackson, as well as Run For It, who was runner up in Saturday’s big race.
It was another highly productive weekend for one of the world’s major sire lines – with descendants of the great Sadler’s Wells accounting for feature races in all of South Africa, Japan and North America.