What A Sprinter!

What A Winter reigns supreme in R1 million Gr1 Computaform Sprint

Champion! What A Winter holds off the top 3yo filly Via Africa to win the Gr1 Computaform Sprint

Champion! What A Winter holds off the top 3yo filly Via Africa to win the Gr1 Computaform Sprint

The best in the land! Mike Bass’s brilliant What A Winter set his Gauteng record in order, and, as if he had to, showed yet again that he is one of our great sprinters of recent times. His emphatic victory in Saturday’s R1 million Gr1 Computaform Sprint run over 1000m at Turffontein was achieved as his trainer labelled it, ‘in less than ideal circumstances.’

The magnificent son of Western Winter, who will shortly be taking up stud duties at Drakenstein, was having his third attempt at one of the fastest and most prestigious sprints in South Africa, and he won like a champion.

Having registered a previous second and third place in this event, punters were understandably a little nervous with some top class opposition to test the Bass Bomber’s mettle, and he was allowed to start at what now seems a very generous 19 to 10.There goes the old hindsight value again!

The twelve horse field broke on terms with all except for Showmetheway breaking well and the gallant mare Mannequin burnt the turf from her 1 draw with Valberg, Genuine Leather and Sharp Design at her heels.

At the halfway marker Valberg led the pack, as Via Africa and What A Winter relaxed a few lengths off the pace.

After posing a few lengths off the action for much of the race, Bernard Fayd’herbe forced his way animatedly  between Valberg and Via Africa with 300m to go and the champion turned on the jets to storm clear with his rider tapping him with a likely mix of emotions down the shoulder.

He beat the top class 3yo filly Via Africa by  1,25 lengths in a time of 55,67 secs.

This was What A Winter’s fourteenth win with 5 places from 23 starts, and he took his earnings to R3 175 213.

The plan is for him to celebrate his swansong and go out in a blaze of glory in the Mercury Sprint to be run over 1200m at Clairwood on Saturday 13 July.

We have said it before,  but What A Winter goes to stud with all the relevant credentials to make a serious impact.

He was Equus Champion Sprinter and Equus Champion Older Male in 2012. He has campaigned at the top level, with 16 of his 24  starts in Graded races

He has won or been placed in 7 Gr1 races.

The son of thrice Champion Sire, Western Winter, is out of the Irish bred miler, Waseela. His dam in fact produced 9 to race, of which 8 were winners and 3 were stakes winners.

Waseela is by the spectacular Ahonoora ,one of the few sires ever to produce an Epsom Derby winner and the dam of an Epsom Derby winner – next dam by Horse of the Year and Derby winner Troy. He is from the family of Hyperion, Pharamond, Night Shift, Sickle, Hunter’s Moon, All Moonshine, to name a few.

What A Winter will stand at Drakenstein Stud for a fee of R20 000 later this year.

The plan is for him to celebrate his swansong and go out in a blaze of glory in the Mercury Sprint to be run over 1200m at Clairwood on Saturday 13 July.That is more his game in familiar territory than this was.

Any prospective opposition should be running for cover!

.

Computaform Sprint (SAf-G1) (4/27)
Turffontein, South Africa, April 27, R1 million, 1000m, turf, good, 55.67 .
 
1 – WHAT A WINTER (SAF), 60.0, b h 5, Western Winter (USA) – Waseela (IRE) by Ahonoora (IRE). Owner MW Bass, B Ressell, GN & NM Shirtliff; breeder Daytona Stud; trainer MW Bass; jockey B Fayd’herbe (R625.000)
2 – Via Africa (SAF), 55.5, b f 3, Var (USA) – Bump ‘n Grind (SAF) by Qui Danzig (USA)
3 – Welwitschia (GB), 57.5, b m 5, Oasis Dream (GB) – Maid For Romance (GB) by Pursuit Of Love (GB)
Margins: 1¼, 1¾, 1¼

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