Highlands Farms Stud’s former leading first crop sire Antonius Pius looks to have a more than decent crop of two-year-olds this season.
Not only is the son of Danzig responsible for unbeaten sensation Kissable, and impressive recent debut winner Tribal Force, but Antonius Pius is also sire of Sunday’s eye catching winner Neptune’s Rain.
The latter, bred by Highlands, made a stunning, winning debut at Scottsville on Sunday when the filly ran on smartly to beat more experienced Only To Win by a short neck.
Neptune’s Rain, produced by the Rich Man’s Gold mare Water Is Gold, was a R425 000 buy from last year’s March Yearling Sale.
A former G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile runner up, Antonius Pius is currently South Africa’s fourth leading sire of 2yos (by stakes) and ranks ahead of such top sires as Querari, Redoute’s Choice and Trippi on the SA 2yo sires list.
This season, the impeccably bred sire has been represented eight 2yos who have either won or finished in the money –and he looks on course for a bright 2017 with his juvenile performers. Antonius Pius’ son Tribal Force has been entered in the Listed Storm Bird Stakes on March 11th, while the sire’s brilliant filly Kissable holds an entry in the Listed Ruffian Stakes on the same day.
Antonius Pius has two lots on offer at the 2017 March Yearling Sale –a filly out of a G2 placed winner of nine (Lot 126), and a sister to the useful Updike, whose winning Fort Wood dam is out of former Oaks winner Cyber Cento (Lot 198).