Two outstanding South African mares made headlines at this week’s Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

The Var sired Via Africa brought the spotlight onto South Africa thoroughbreds in a big way when her Silverdale Farm consigned daughter, by The Autumn Sun, made AUS$1.8 million to top a hugely successful Easter Sale.

Catalogued as Lot 440, the bay was knocked down to a partnership of Arrowfield Pastoral and Hermitage Thoroughbreds.

It was a great result for Silverdale, who had purchased the pricey filly for $600,000 as a weanling. Arrowfield’s John Messara described the Via Africa filly as “something special’’.

“She is by our stallion, we’re very proud of him and we are very hopeful about him and she was an absolute queen, a true athlete,’’ Messara said.

Via Africa’s influence looks set to be felt for generations to come in Australia with her G1 ATC Golden Rose winning son In The Congo, a three-parts brother to the sales-topping filly, having recently retired to Newgate.

South Africa’s Champion Sprinter of 2013-2014, Via Africa won 10 of just 16 starts in South Africa, with her six graded or listed race wins including back to back triumphs in the G1 South African Fillies Sprint as well as the 2014 G1 Cape Flying Championship.

Another South African bred champion, Carry On Alice, also hit the heights at this week’s Inglis Easter Sale, with that five time G1 winning daughter of Captain Al responsible for a Snitzel colt who fetched AUS $1 100 000 at the sale.

It has been a good spell for South African bred mares, with South African champion Warning Zone granddam of this year’s Australian group winning two-year-old Steel City, and another champion, Irridescence, dam of current high-class US galloper Hopper. The latter, a son of Declaration Of War, has already won a pair of graded stakes in North America namely the 2022 G3 Affirmed Stakes and the recent G3 Oaklawn Mile.

The 2023 National Yearling Sale will offer buyers a great opportunity to buy their own future blue hen, with this year’s catalogue including a number of superbly bred fillies who hail from some of the best families in the stud book.

Photo: Sporting Post