Wilgerbosdrift is set to welcome a son of one of the world’s premier stallions for 2019.
The Piketberg farm will be standing the very talented Fire Away next year, with the latter being a son of Claiborne Farm’s outstanding stallion War Front.
Winner of the G2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Hcp and runner up in both the G1 Vosburgh and G1 Forego Stakes, War Front currently stands for a fee of $250 000 –which makes the son of Danzig the second most expensive stallion currently at stud in North America.
To date, War Front, whose progeny excel on turf, has sired more than 70 stakes winners, with his top runners including such G1 winners as Air Force Blue, Hit It A Bomb, Brave Anna, The Factor, Declaration Of War, Summer Soiree, Avenge, Roly Poly, Joe Milton, Data Link, American Patriot, War Command and Peace And War.
To date, War Front has eight official champions to his name including 2yo superstars Air Force Blue and U S Navy Flag.
War Front, whose 30 plus stakes horses last year included five G1 winners, is enjoying another superb season with his top runners in 2018 including G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup winner Lancaster Bomber, G1 July Cup winner U S Navy Flag, and Irish 1000 Guineas runner up Could It Be Love.
He is also fast establishing himself as an exciting sire of sires, with War Front sons The Factor and Declaration Of War having both already sired G1 winners. Another son, War Command, is currently among the Leading First Crop Sires in the UK for 2018.
Fire Away was a high class performer, whose seven wins include the G3 Dixie Stakes of 2018. The bay, who has already earned more than $600 000 in stakes, has won or placed in four stakes races, and also ran third, to G1 Breeders’ Cup winning champion World Approval, in the 2018 Tampa Bay Stakes.
He is a half-brother to G1 Belmont Derby (on turf) winner Mr Speaker, who currently stands along the likes of Candy Ride, Quality Road, Mineshaft, and Union Rags at Lane’s End in Kentucky. Mr Speaker earned over $1 million during his career, with his victories also including the G2 Commonwealth Cup Stakes, G3 Lexington Stakes and G3 Dania Beach Stakes.
Salute, dam of Mr Speaker and Fire Away, was a smart winning two-year-old, who finished second, to subsequent G1 Ashland Stakes winner Sis City, in the G2 Demoiselle Stakes as a juvenile.
She is out of one of history’s greatest racemares, the unbeaten Personal Ensign. The latter, an own sister to multiple G1 winner Personal Flag, won all 13 of her races, including the 1988 G1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff in dramatic fashion. Personal Ensign was equally outstanding at stud- and was North America’s Broodmare Of The Year in 1996.
Not only did Personal Ensign produce a Breeders’ Cup winner in My Flag, but the latter went onto produce the Breeders’ Cup winning champion Storm Flag Flying. My Flag was one of 3 G1 winners produced by Personal Ensign, the others being Traditionally (Oaklawn Handicap) and Miner’s Mark (Jockey Club Gold Cup).
Another son, Our Emblem, sired 2002 Kentucky Derby winning champion War Emblem.
Personal Ensign also ranks as the third dam of G1 Clark Handicap winning millionaire Seeking The Soul.
Fire Away’s broodmare sire Unbridled, sire of breed shaping stallions Empire Maker and Unbridled’s Song, is a superb damsire, with his daughters having produced more than 70 stakes winners headed by triple US Champion Sire Tapit and US classic winning sires Orb and Shackleford.
A stud fee for Fire Away, who will continue his racing career with Mike de Kock before retiring to stud, is yet to be finalized.