The visitors once again dominated matters in the R350 000 Gr3 Algoa Cup run over 2000m at a bustling and sun-drenched Fairview on Sunday. The PE July laurels went to the smart Silvano gelding Nebula who made the most of his light weight under the top-class Richard Fourie.
The 2016 renewal was a first victory in the big race for Phillipi trainer Brett Crawford, who has not made a habit of raiding the spoils in the Eastern Cape.
But Crawford may reconsider his options after a well conceived plan come together saw the pricy Nebula taking full advantage of his 52kgs, a decent pace and a good draw to secure the biggest win of his career.
The withdrawal of the Sean Tarry-trained Cagiva saw the field reduced to 15, with visiting horses making up more than half the field.
The Drakenstein Stud-sponsored Richard Fourie had Nebula relaxed in sixth position and about six lengths off the pace set by Dynastic Power, who was pursued by Stebbins in the run for home.
At the 400m it was anybody’s race but Fourie wasn’t moving a muscle as the 4-1 Nebula built up impressively and hit the front at the 200m marker.
The son of Silvano went on strongly to withstand the sparkling late challenge of the 33-10 favourite Captain Splendid.
The winning margin was 0,75 lengths with Nebula covering the 2000m in a time of 123,23 secs.
The former Mike de Kock trained Alghadeer maintained his decent local form with a third-placed effort, with Krambambuli staying on for fourth.
Only 1,75 lengths covered the first four home.
Nebula races in the red and black of Hong Kong-based owner Edmund Siu, and was purchased as a classic candidate with eventual hopes of export to the East.
The 4yo gelding attracted plenty of interest as a youngster when he entered the 2014 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale ring. He topped Day 1 of that sale, being purchased by Tony Millard, who signed the chit for Park Bloodstock for R3,75 million.
The full-brother to the 2013 J&B Met winner Martial Eagle was bred by Wilgerbosdrift Stud and is by former champion sire Silvano out of the five-time winning Jallad mare, Seeking The Wind.
He was described by breeder Mary Slack at the time of sale as ‘probably the best looking Silvano you can get’.
The lightly tried Nebula has won three times with 6 places from 12 starts. He has earned R377 925.
It will be interesting to see how he progresses after this confidence boosting success, and it is a generally accepted trend that the Silvano’s are late blossomers.
Alan Greeff and Greg Cheyne were the most successful combination on the day with three winners.
On the flipside of the coin, after their hat-trick of winners on Friday, the afternoon produced a rare and frustrating blank for the powerful Snaith yard.
Gr3 Algoa Cup (SAf-Gr3)
Fairview, South Africa, October 30, R350k, 2000m, turf, good, 2.03.23
1 – NEBULA (SAF), 52.0, b g 4, Silvano (GER) – Seeking The Wind (SAF) by Jallad (USA). Owner Mr Edmond Siu; Breeder Wilgerbosdrift; trainer BJ Crawford; jockey R Fourie
2 – Captain Splendid (SAF), 53.5, b g 4, Captain Al (SAF) – Justthewayyouare (SAF) by Fort Wood (USA)
3 – Alghadeer (SAF), 56.5, b g 5, Dynasty (SAF) – Typical (SAF) by Aristis (USA)
Margins: 0.75, 0.50, 0.50