Few superlatives remain to describe the dominance of Silvano’s progeny. A quartet of Graded wins topped by a superb Gr.1 double, highlighted yet another banner weekend for our mighty stalwart.
At Turffontein on Saturday, we bade farewell to one of Silvano’s finest gallopers, the colt Hawwaam, who is set to continue his career on the international stage. Sheikh Hamdan’s champion ended his South African innings on a high with a dominant, back-to-back victory in the Gr.1 Premier’s Champion’s Challenge. In fact, he made his rivals looks ordinary, as he had the race won at the top of the straight and streaked to a clear-cut success, winning with ears pricked.
For the record, Hawwaam won ten of thirteen South African starts, five of which at Gr.1 level. As a three-year-old, he won the Gr.1 Premier’s Champion’s Challenge in open company and claimed Classic honours in both the Gr.1 SA Classic and Gr.1 Daily News 2000, achievements good enough to earn him an Equus award as the season’s champion classic colt. This season, he added the Gr.2 Premier Trophy and prior to his second Premier’s success, had captured the Gr.1 H F Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes. Trainer Mike de Kock has made no secret of his belief that his latest champion is world-class and we look forward to following him wherever he goes.
Silvano’s reputation as a sire of fine stayers was underlined when his progressive son Imperial Ruby scored a hard-fought victory in the final race of the day, the Gr.3 Gold Bowl over a lung-bursting 3200m. Bred, like Hawwaam, by the Wilgerbosdrift/Mauritzfontein team, the Corné Spies-trained three-year-old denied favourite Factor Five in a head-bobbing finish, to complete a four-timer on the day for veteran ace jockey Piere Strydom, It was a first stakes success for the gelding, bred from Irish import Ruby Necklace, an unraced daughter of Sadler’s Wells and the Gr.1 Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Necklace.
Fresh off his fine double, Silvano was back in the limelight at Greyville 24 hours later with another brace of Graded stakes winners. To set the tone, Silvano’s Pride continued her love affair with the Durban track when she led her rivals a merry dance in the Gr.2 Tibouchina Stakes. Twelve months ago, Anthony Peter’s homebred had earned her Gr.1 stripes with a bold, front running performance in the Woolavington 2000 and it was more of the same here. On the lead from the jump, she never saw a rival and powered home by an imperious three lengths. A win full of merit, considering this was over a distance short of her best.
Her victory acted as a prelude to what was perhaps the performance of the day, that of Triple Tiara winner Summer Pudding in the same race her paternal half-sister had won in 2019. Mauritzfontein’s homebred star put her unbeaten record on the line in the Gr.1 Woolavington 2000 and proceeded to steal the hearts of all present with a scarcely believable effort.
Racing three deep, she was making heavy weather of it as jockey Warren Kennedy was clearly niggling at her on the final turn into the straight. Market rival Lady Of Steel slipped her field in mid straight and looked set to continue her own unbeaten record, however, when Summer Pudding finally hit full stride, her acceleration was a sight to behold. Quickly making up the deficit, she rocketed into the lead to win going away. A stirring performance from a likely champion.
In a fitting climax to a banner weekend, Silvano also sired the winners of the last two carded races, one of which an eye-catching six-length romp by three-year-old Arizona Silk over a mile. Glen Kotzen’s charge is an own brother-to the Gr.3 winning stayer Vanilla Silk.