ZILLZAAL takes R2-Million Summer Cup G1

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The month of November ended on a smashing high for Silvano when he sired the first and third across the line in the rich 2000 m Gr.1 Summer Cup at Turffontein, barely a week after his unbeaten daughter Summer Pudding had captured the Gr.3 Fillies Mile. In addition, the result also catapulted him straight back to the top of the General Sires List.

Victory in the R2-million Turffontein showpiece went to the Sean Tarry-trained four-year-old son Zillzaal, for whom this was a maiden Stakes success, whilst stable companion and paternal half-brother Al Mutawakel picked up his first black type with a close-up third.

A natural frontrunner, Zillzaal did it the hard way too, leading every step of the way. Although hard-pressed inside the closing stages, he had enough in reserve to hold off the attentions of hot favourite Soqrat by a half-length and Al Mutawakel finishing just a longhead back in third.

Now a four-year-old, Zillzaal gained a deserved Gr.1 pot after a promising three-year-old campaign which had seen him there or thereabouts in a number of classics, notably when second in the Gr.1 SA Derby and fourth in both the Gr.1 SA Classic and Gr.1 Daily News 2000.

The result proved a triumph not just for Silvano, but also for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, who owns and bred both Zillzaal and Al Multawakel. Lest we forget, Zillzaal is the third Summer Cup winner for Silvano, with champion Aslan and the filly Flirtation having taken the honours in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

In addition, the gelding is his illustrious sire’s 23rd locally-bred Gr.1 winner amongst a tally of 85 Stakes winners. He was bred from the Giant’s Causeway mare Zulaal, an unraced daughter of Champion American three-year-old filly Surfside (Seattle Slew), while the next dam Flanders (Seeking The Gold), was voted that country’s Champion juvenile filly following victories in the Gr.1 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies, Gr.1 Frizette and Gr.1 Spinaway Stakes.