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The late Silvano can genuinely be termed a great sire having been the five-times champion in South Africa and apart from siring 25 individual Grade 1 winners and 100 stakes winners, he is also the most successful Durban July sire in history.

His son Vercingetorix was sire of a few notable winners over the weekend, including the TAB Grade 1 wfa Premier’s Champions Challenge winner Astrix and the Grade 3 The Citizen Gold Bowl winner Nebraas.

Astrix is clearly coming into his own as a five-year-old, so that should be no surprise because Silvano’s progeny were known to continually improve with age.

Nebraas stays all day and Silvano was also known as a stamina influence, so no great surprise there.

However, Vercingetorix is also producing precocious and speedy stars which makes him something of a phenomenon.

Silvano, whose 18th and final crop is at the Sales this year, has only produced five two-year-old stakes winners in his career and each of them won only one juvenile stakes apiece.

Bold Silvano and Sedge both won the Grade 3 Champion Juvenile Cup over 1400m at Fairview, Happy Valentine won the Grade 1 Allan Robertson, Janoobi won the Grade 3 Protea Stakes over 1100m and Palladium won the Listed Gatecrasher Stakes.

Vercingetorix’s oldest crop are only five-year-olds and he has already produced six individual two-year-old stakes winners and between them they have won eight two-year-old stakes races including two Grade 1s.

African Warrior won the Grade 3 Godolphin Barb and the Grade 2 Umkhomazi, Hooves Of Troy won the Listed Dahlia Plate, Viking Moon won the Listed East Cape Nursery, Vernichey won the Grade 3 Strelitzia and Grade 1 Allan Robertson, Ambiorix won the Grade 1 Gold Medallion and Pomp And Power won the Grade 3 Langerman. 

Greg Bortz, who owns Pomp And Power by Vercingetorix, caused a stir at the BSA National Yearling Sale last week by buying seven Vercingetorix’s on day one but considering Silvano once commanded a cover fee of R250,000 and Vercingetorix appears to be out-doing him at stud, it might prove to be a wise move to have a lot of eggs in that one basket.

Vercingetorix has had ten stakes winners from his first crop to date and more will surely follow, whereas Silvano only had eight stakes winners from his first South African crop.

This argument does not include an analysis of the quality or quantity of mares each was receiving though.   

Picture: The Paul Peter-trained Astrix being led in after his Grade 1 triumph on Saturday. (JC Photos)