Drakenstein Filly Books SA Fillies Sprint Berth

This was impressive!

The Drakenstein bred and raced 3yo Winter Cloud booked her ticket for the Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on 1 June with a facile victory over some serious opposition in the R250 000 Gr3 Champagne Stakes at a sundrenched Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on the Community Fest raceday on Saturday.

Winter Cloud was returning to action after a five week break and produced an eyecatching performance to give Anthony Andrews a perfect 3 rides for 3 winners record aboard her.

Anthony Andrews steers Winter Cloud to her third Gr3 victory (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Candice Bass-Robinson saddled five of the eleven runners, and it was left to two of her really smart 3yo fillies to fill the exacta as Winter Cloud moved forward after Captain Fontaine had tried to make every post a winning one.

Winter Cloud (13-2) accelerated through the field from near last and made it a Gr3 treble as she drew off without any encouragement to easily account for stablemate October Morn (5-2) by 1,25 lengths in a time of 71,38 secs.

There were some schools of thought that Grant van Niekerk had not covered himself in glory on the runner-up, but there is no detracting from Winter Cloud’s performance, despite her 2kg pull at the weights.

Questioning (20-1) flashed up late for third, with the consistent Dance Variety (9-2) rounding the quartet off.

A runner-up in the Gr1 Allan Roberston Championship at the Pietermaritzburg speed meeting in 2023, Winter Cloud will be aimed at the Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint.

A daughter of Equus Champion What A Winter (Western Winter), who proved a popular choice at Nationals on Thursday and Friday, Winter Cloud is out of Irish-bred Montelissima, a Montjeu half-sister to Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes winner Arria and Gr2 Senor Santa Stakes third Pivotal Pursuit.

Her second dam Issa is a full-sister to unbeaten Yorkshire Oaks winner Catchascatchcan, dam of Breeders’ Cup Mile winner, and former Highlands Stud sire, Antonius Pius.

Winter Cloud has now won 6 races with a place from 11 starts for stakes of R1 117 939.

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