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by Sarah Whitelaw

While he may have been overshadowed this season by his own son Vercingetorix, the late Silvano has still enjoyed a solid season thus far, albeit posthumously, in his own right.

Currently fifth on the General Sires List for 2021-2022 (headed by Vercingetorix), Silvano has been represented by no fewer than eight stakes winners this season, with his progeny having won 11 black type races in South Africa at the time of writing.

Silvano has also gone close to enjoying more G1 success in 2021-2022, with his daughters Marina, Sparkling Water and talented three-year-old son Safe Passage. The latter was beaten just a neck when runner up in the G1 WSB SA Classic, while his paternal half-sister Sparkling Water finished a very close second, to the Vercingetorix sired Astrix, in the recent G1 TAB The Premier’s Champions Challenge and Marina ran third, beaten less than half a length, in this season’s G1 Cartier Paddock Stakes.

His eight black type winners this season are headed by graded stakes winners Sparkling Water, Safe Passage, and Saturday’s game G2 The Independent On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes winner Silver Operator.

In winning the Drill Hall Stakes, Silver Operator joined the likes of Ice Machine and champion Marinaresco as Drill Hall Stakes winning sons of Silvano.

Silver Operator lacks nothing in terms of pedigree -with the 2018 April Yearling Sales’ topper not only a son of a five times South African champion sire in Silvano but out of a stakes winning daughter of another multiple champion South African sire in the form of Captain Al. This mare was Swallow Stakes winner Sting Operation -who hails from a family which has consistently enjoyed success on South Africa racetracks in recent years.

A three time winner up to 1200 metres, Sting Operation (bred on the same Captain Al/Western Winter cross as champion Carry On Alice) was produced by Western Winter’s G1 Thekwini Fillies Stakes winning daughter Roxanne. The latter, in turn, was a half-sister to the stakes placed dam of champion Gabor, and, further back, this is also the family of former Horse Of The Year, and successful sire, Legislate.

Silvano enjoyed notable success when mated to daughters of Captain Al’s sire Al Mufti with this cross producing such G1 winners as Al Sahem, Bold Silvano and Kings Gambit as well as G2 Gold Bracelet winner Gallica Rose.

(Vercingetorix in turn is also having success when sent Captain Al mares with this cross having produced G1 winner Vernichey, while another son of Al Mufti, Victory Moon, is damsire of the aforementioned Astrix).

Also in Silver Operator’s family is the 2018 G1 Daily News 2000 runner up Padre Pio, a son of Silvano’s star sire son Vercingetorix.

Picture: Silver Operator winning the IOS Drill Hall Stakes (Candiese Lenferna).