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Sarah Whitelaw

When five-year-old Follow The Star captured last Friday’s Listed Glenlair Trophy over 2800m, the mare became the 105th stakes winner for now deceased champion sire Silvano.

Five times champion sire in South Africa (he also headed the General Sires List in Slovakia), Silvano (by Lomitas) is without question one of the best stallions to graced the local paddocks for decades.

Not only do his progeny include four G1 Vodacom Durban July winners (Bold Silvano, Heavy Metal, Power King and Marinaresco), Silvano is also sire of current boom South African sire Vercingetorix and a plethora of other high-class gallopers.

Other stars by Silvano include Equus Champions Hawwaam, Kings Gambit, and former South African Horse Of The Year Summer Pudding.

Follow The Star is not the first of Silvano’s progeny to have excelled over a trip, with Silvano also sire of former champion stayer Aslan and fellow G1 Gold Cup winner Wavin’ Flag, as well as Crown Of Gold -three times a winner of the Listed Port Elizabeth Gold Cup over 3600 metres!

The well bred Follow The Star, a R475 000 buy from the 2018 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, is out of Dance To The Stars.

The latter won six times including the Listed East Cape Oaks of 2012 (beating graded stakes winners Fragrant Al and fellow Galileo daughter Rain Gal), with Dance To The Stars scoring from 1500m to 1600 metres.

She was sired by the legendary Galileo, a horse with claims to being the greatest stallion ever to stand in Ireland. Among Galileo’s 93 G1 winners are unbeaten legend, and champion sire Frankel, and fellow English classic winners Australia, Capri, Churchill, Gleneagles, Hermosa Kew Gardens, Love, Minding, New Approach, Ruler Of The World, Serpentine, Sixties Icon, Was and Winter.

Now deceased, Galileo has also proved an exceptional broodmare sire, with his daughters having already bred the likes of 2000 Guineas winner and successful sire Night Of Thunder, and fellow classic winners Galileo Gold, Magna Grecia and Qualify as well as such champions as Ghaiyyath and St Mark’s Basilica.

Galileo has also made his mark in South Africa through his champion daughters Igugu and Mahbooba, while another daughter, Grail Maiden, is dam of G1 SA Derby winner Hero’s Honour. His sons to have stood at stud in South Africa include ill-fated Kingsbarns (sire of champion Gabor), with his current sire sons in this country including Flying The Flag, Global View and The United States.

Dance To The Stars was produced by G3 VRC St Leger runner up Dance On Wood, herself a daughter of prolific sire and top broodmare sire Woodman.

Dance On Wood, whose stakes placed dam Kirov Dancer was sired by outstanding sire Zabeel, is directly descended in female line from legendary broodmare Marchetta.

The latter is ancestress of numerous top-class gallopers and sires, with Marchetta’s star descendants including breed shaping sire Turn-To (from whom the likes of Deep Impact, More Than Ready, Roberto and Zabeel are descended from), outstanding stayer and champion sire Alycidon, English classic winners Festoon and Larkspur, South African star sire and racehorse Dynasty and outstanding stallion Scat Daddy.

Picture: Follow The Star (Pauline Herman).