Pius sophomores continue to impress
Former leading first crop sire Antonius Pius certainly had a weekend to remember with his offspring winning major South African feature races over distances ranging from 1200 to 2450 metres.
The Antonius Pius’ stakes double kicked off with his daughter Yoshie landing the Listed Lady’s Pendant at Fairview on Friday while his son Cool Chardonnay won his first feature when successful in the Listed Aquanaut Handicap at Turffontein’s Betting World Guineas meeting a day later.
The Milkwood Stud bred and owned Yoshie, now a 12 time winner, pushed her earnings to over R700 000 with Friday’s triumph. Yoshie, a multiple champion in the Eastern Cape, is clearly the top female sprinter based in Port Elizabeth with Friday’s win being her third in Listed company.
While Yoshie is an out and out speedster, paternal half brother Cool Chardonnay is shaping up as a young stayer of exceptional promise. The Highlands Farm bred gelding was a real bargain at the 2013 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale when fetching just R80 000.
However, Cool Chardonnay, who looks a likely runner for the Gr1 SA Derby later this season, pushed his earnings to more than three times his purchase price when he won Saturday’s Listed Aquanaut Handicap.
The Weiho Marwing trained gelding has now won three of his last five outings, and won Saturday’s Listed race despite being badly out at the weights. Remarkably, Cool Chardonnay’s 2yo full sister Shiraz Cabernet (Antonius Pius – Wine Dark Sea) had run second on debut over 1200m – just a day prior to her brother’s feature race triumph.
Based at Highlands, Antonius Pius’ currently crop of 3yos includes four stakes horses, three of whom are feature race winners.
The Danzig son’s sophomores include the above mentioned Cool Chardonnay, recent Gr3 Tony Ruffel Stakes hero Belong To Me and classy stakes winning filly Arria. This crop also includes the very fast sprinter Victorious and a number of other above average winners.
Antonius Pius was a top class racehorse, who received a Timeform Rating of 123. Desperately unlucky not to win the French 2000 Guineas, Antonius Pius defeated some of the world’s top milers when second in the Gr1 Breeders Cup Mile of 2004.
By the same sire as Danehill, Green Desert and War Front, Antonius Pius is out of unbeaten Oaks winner Catchascatchcan.