While she has some ground to make up on her high-class older sister Snowdance, the 3yo Juniper Spring finally registered her first stakes success with a gutsy display on the Fairview all-weather to win the R150 000 Listed East Cape Breeders Stakes on Friday.
The switch of the scheduled turf meeting to the artificial surface might have had the Juniper Spring connections pondering their luck, but the feature was significantly the one event on the eight race card that didn’t suffer any withdrawals.
And the decision to take their chances produced the desired outcome.
Having run a smart fifth in the SA Fillies Sprint in May, Juniper Spring was priced up at 12-10 as she took on the very talented local Carlita.
After uncharacteristically showing some reluctance to go into the stalls, Juniper Spring loaded and the race developed into a scrap between the two.
With pacemaker Vivir coming under fire inside the final 200m, Fourie grabbed the initiative on Juniper Spring and drove her under a balanced push. With the top jockey riding an unflustered finish, Juniper Spring got the verdict by a head in a time of 69,37 secs.
Carlita ran a gallant race after using valuable ground when being switched in late by Bernard Fayd’herbe.
The pacesetting Vivir was a further 1,25 lengths back in third.
A full sister to the stable’s Gr1 star Snowdance, the Cheveley Stud-bred Juniper Spring is a daughter of Captain Al (Al Mufti) out of the Gr3 Kenilworth Fillies Nursery winner Spring Lilac (Joshua Dancer) – the dam a half-sister to Equus Champions Bela-Bela and Rabiya.
Juniper Spring has won 3 races with 5 places from 10 starts for stakes of R345 000.
Richard Fourie was in fine form, riding a hat-trick of winners for three different stables.
At the top of the jockey log, Lyle Hewitson is one winner ahead of Muzi Yeni as they go into the weekend.