The Windrush filly Nordic Breeze has a habit of upsetting her more favoured stablemates. She pulled one over the then unbeaten The Merry Widow when winning the Gr3 Kenilworth Fillies Nursery last term. On Saturday she performed a similar trick when getting the better of the fancied A Time To Dream to win the R250 000 Gr3 Champagne Stakes.
Carrying top weight of 60kgs in the final feature of the 2016/17 Cape season, Nordic Breeze was unfancied as she powered home up the rail under Brandon May to win by a nose.
A false start would have done none of the twelve runners any good, but the starter eventually got them away on terms. Varumba and Hanabi showed a lot of pace early, with the fancied Kotzen pair of South Side and Anneline hot on their heels.
At the 300m the favourite A Time To Dream took over looking a winner. But her stablemate Nordic Breeze was shadowing her on the rail and the two went head for head. A Time To Dream looked to have done enough inside the last 50m, but Brandon May called for one last effort from the year younger Nordic Breeze and she got the verdict in the last stride by a short head in a time of 75,55 secs. She started at 20 to 1.
The only other runner concerned in the finish was the Bass-Robinson mare Come Fly With Me, who finished a quarter length back in third.
Nordic Breeze was purchased for R200 000 by Ken Truter off the 2015 CTS Lanzerac Ready To Run Sale and made it 4 wins with 3 places from 13 starts for stakes of R419 429.
She was bred by Normandy Stud and is by Windrush (Seeking The Gold) out of the unraced Nordic Vine (Northern Guest). She hails from a decent winning family and is a full sister to the versatile now retired Mike Bass group performer, Rushing Wind.
Gr3 Champagne Stakes (SAf-Gr3)
Kenilworth, South Africa, July 29, R250k, 1200m, turf, soft, 1.15.55
1 – NORDIC BREEZE (SAF), 60.0, b f 3, Windrush (USA) – Nordic Vine (SAF) by Northern Guest (USA). Owner Mesdames V A Foulkes & Jane Truter & Mr K P Truter; Breeder Normandy Stud; trainer J Snaith; jockey B May
2 – A Time To Dream (SAF), 59.5, b f 4, Dynasty (SAF) – Aqueduct (AUS) by Giant’s Causeway (USA)
3 – Come Fly With Me (SAF), 59.5, b m 5, Jet Master (SAF) – Fly The Wind (SAF) by Model Man (SAF)
Margins: 0.05, 0.30, 3.25