It was always going to be just a matter of time before Silvano’s champion son Vercingetorix sired his first classic winner. That honour fell to Sean Tarry’s Ikigai, who continued his rise to prominence in the Gr.2 Gauteng Guineas under the Turffontein lights.
Following the scratching of stable companion, the Dingaans winner Shango, it was left to the strapping chestnut to bring home the bacon and the colt made no mistake. Quickening from just off the pace, he quickly made up the deficit and cruised home by the best part of two lengths.
Previously successful in January in the Gr.3 Tony Ruffel, this second Graded success brought Ikigai’s lifetime record to four wins and two seconds from as many starts. Clearly on an upward trajectory, Gr.1 SA Classic in March beckons for this ultra-talented individual.
One of four stakes winners from his sire’s first crop, Ikigai is also the first foal out of Al Shiba, a winning Al Mufti half-sister to Gr.3 Champion Juvenile Cup victress Jet Set Go and Gr.1 Cape Fillies Guineas and Gr.1 Woolavington 2000 third Jet Trail, both by Jet Master. Significantly, Silvano sired champions Bold Silvano and King’s Gambit, as well as Gr.1 SA Derby winner Al Sahem from Al Mufti mares.