Sire Strike in South Africa

Which internationally based sires are proving themselves on our tracks

Wylie Hall wins the Colorado King

Wylie Hall wins the 2015 Gr2 Colorado King Stakes

Saturday’s Gr2 Colorado King Stakes winner Wylie Hall is by a sire, Redoute’s Choice, who has had plenty of success in South Africa.

From just a handful of local runners, Danehill’s champion son has been represented by three top flight performers in Majmu, Musir and Wylie Hall respectively and Redoute’s Choice is also broodmare sire of former talented two-year-old Banaadeer, who finished second in the 2014 Gr1 SA Nursery.

But which foreign-bred sire’s offspring have proved most successful in South Africa? And which top class overseas stallion has had the best strike rate in this country? The horses mentioned below are just a handful of leading international stallions whose progeny have enjoyed notable success in this country over the past two decades or so.

Redoute’s Choice

One of the very best sire sons of Danehill, Redoute’s Choice has been represented by 14 local runners –of which nine were stakes performers. His best offspring include a pair of Equus Champions in Majmu, winner of this season’s Gr1 Avontuur Estate Cape Fillies Guineas, and Musir respectively, as well as above-mentioned Wylie Hall, whose Saturday’s success pushed his earnings to over R2.4 million. Other talented South African runners by Redoute’s Choice include the likes of Solid Choice, and Gr2 Camellia Stakes winner Honorine. Wylie Hall is the second son of the sire to win the Colorado King Stakes – he was preceded by Bishops Rock in 2006.

More Than Ready

More Than Ready is a rare example of a stallion whose offspring have found success all over the world, and who has been almost as successful in the Northern Hemisphere as he was in the South. The son of Southern Halo has once again been making waves in South Africa this season, with his runners including Listed Ruffian Stakes winner Entisaar as well as the eye-catching debut winner Wisaam. Represented by 15 local runners to date, More Than Ready has had five South African stakes winners at the time of writing, headed by former Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner Gimmethegreenlight, and former Gr3 Winter Guineas winner Readytogorightnow. He has a brace of promising local 2yos to his name in 2014-2015, including the above mentioned Entisaar and Wisaam, as well as Big Sugar and More Than Grand.

Encosta De Lago

The now pensioned son of Fairy King was a huge hit in Australia, where Encosta De Lago twice headed the general sires log. By far and away his sire’s best stallion son, Encosta De Lago’s progeny also fared well in South Africa. From 36 odd SA runners, Encosta De Lago’s tally includes champion 2yo Delago Deluxe, high class filly Merlene De Lago, Derby winner and promising young sire Dan De Lago and former Gr2 Betting World 1900 dead-heater Safwan. He is also broodmare sire of top class performers Musir and Killua Castle.


One of the finest sires at stud today, Dubawi is considered by many as the second best stallion currently active in Europe today, behind only Galileo. The son of Dubai Millennium has a magnificent strike rate in South Africa – from just seven runners, Dubawi has had three stakes winners, two of which are Gr1 winners (Willow Magic, Happy Archer), as well as recent Gr3 Jacaranda Handicap heroine Amber Orchid. His strike rate is hard to beat in modern times.


The world’s greatest sire and one of the best stallions in history, Galileo has been well represented in South Africa and has had no fewer than 35 runners compete on local tracks. His tally of runners includes seven stakes winners, with Galileo’s black type runners including a pair of filly champions in Igugu and Mahbooba respectively. Galileo’s local contenders also include a pair of runners, The Assayer and Galileo’s Night, who have since found homes at stud, as well as the very talented runners Alvaro, Galileo’s Destiny and Galileo’s Galaxy, as well as Derby hero Il Saggiatore.


Unlike his famed sire Lure, fertility was never an issue for Prix Morny winner Orpen. The latter covered large books of mares at stud, particularly in his early days, and enjoyed most of his success in the Southern Hemisphere. Orpen’s South Africa record was especially noteworthy – he has had 19 runners in this country, of which 16 have won. Of Orpen’s South African runners, three, Private Jet, Rocks Off and War Artist, won Gr1 races, while another, Norquino, is a Gr3 winner (he won the 2010 Jubilee Handicap).

Giant’s Causeway

Storm Cat’s greatest sire son has a fine record with his South African runners. Giant’s Causeway, a triple champion sire in North America, has been represented by a fair number of runners, at the last count his local gallopers numbered 42. Of these, 34 have won and two (Blueridge Mountain, Our Giant) are Grade One winners. In total, six of Giant’s Causeway-sired runners have won black type races, with that tally including this season’s feature race winners Bouclette Top (Drum Star Handicap) and Coltrane (Gr3 Cape Summer Stayers Handicap, Gr3 Chairman’s Cup). Giant’s Causeway is also broodmare sire of former Equus Champion and new Cape sire Soft Falling Rain.

Rock Of Gibraltar

Few sires standing outside South Africa today have had more success in this country with their runners than has the Coolmore Stud based stallion Rock Of Gibraltar. The Rock has been hugely popular and no fewer than 50 of his offspring have reached the track in this country. Rock Of Gibraltar’s 50 starters include 42 winners and 11 stakes winners (in other words 22% of the Rock’s progeny are black type winners in South Africa). His top local runners include the Gr1 winners Alboran Sea, Europa Point and promising young sire Seventh Rock, as well as Guineas winning fillies Arcetri Pink and Gibraltar Blue.

Remarkably, two of “The Rock”’s progeny, Rock Of Arts and Rich Girl, have won the rich Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup, quite a feat for a stallion standing outside of South Africa.

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