Highlands Farm’s resident stallion Antonius Pius had a notable UK double on Monday, when a pair of his offspring won at Hamilton and Navan racecourses respectively.
First of the Pius sired runners to salute was The Nutcracker, who picked up her first race on the flat when saluting by four and a half lengths at Navan.
The Nutcracker’s win was followed by her half brother Rocket Ronnie who was successful at Hamilton on the same day.
Rocket Ronnie, now a five time winner, landed a handicap over 1665m by a length and a quarter from joint favourites Know Your Name and Outlaw Torn.
Their sire, Antonius Pius, is a son of Danzig, whose sons include the breed shaping stallions Danehill, Green Desert and War Front, as well as the highly successful stallions Hard Spun, Langfuhr, Polish Precedent, and Highlands’ late, great National Assembly.
Runner up in the 2004 G1 Breeders Cup Mile (where his defeated rivals included such champions as Six Perfections, Soaring Free and Whipper), Antonius Pius got his stud career off to a tremendous start when he ended the 2012-2013 season as South Africa’s Leading First Crop Sire by Stakes.
Antonius Pius’ first crop included G2 winning filly My Sanctuary, the ill-fated multiple Graded Stakes winner Antonius Du Bois and star filly Yoshie, while subsequent crops have produced G3 Tony Ruffel winner Belong To Me, talented stayer Cool Chardonnay and this season’s very exciting 3yo filly Just Felicity.
The latter is one of 21 fillies nominated for the G3 Diana Stakes, to be run at Durbanville next month.
Antonius Pius, who is out of unbeaten G1 Yorkshire Oaks winner Catchascatchcan, is currently standing at Highlands for a 2015 fee of R10 000.