Gr3 Cape Nursery: Depardieu

Depardieu, another stakes winner for Dupont

Singapore’s loss looks set to be South Africa’s gain if Depardieu’s emphatic performance in the Betting World Cape Nursery over 1200m at Kenilworth on Saturday is a sign of things to come, writes Matthew Lips.

The colt was purchased as a yearling with the intention that he would be trained by Pat Shaw in Singapore, but those plans had to be aborted when Depardieu tested positive as a carrier of pyroplasmosis, an infectious  tick-borne disease which has been described as one of the greatest barriers to the unfettered international movement of equine animals.  It is particularly prevalent in regions with mild winters, which of course describes Singapore perfectly, and it amounts to an instant disqualification from entering that country.

Depardieu was sent off as the 5/2 favourite in a ten runner field for the Nursery, having won comfortably on his debut at Durbanville before finishing half-a-length second behind talented Gimmethegreenlight (who was absent from the Nursery) in a Listed race over the Kenilworth 1200m in April.  Amber Palace and recent debut winner Master Mascus were the joint 3/1 second favourites ahead of 9/2 chance Variety Club, who had finished 1.25 lengths behind Depardieu in that Listed race but who now met the favourite on 2 kgs better terms.

Question Time set the early pace from Variety Club and Depardieu, with Amber Palace not far away as Master Mascus raced a few lengths off the action.  Variety Club picked it up once Question Time faded, but he weakened inside the final furlong and it was Depardieu who soon strode past them all wider out to go and record an emphatic 2.5 lengths victory under Karl Neisius.  Amber Palace stayed on steadily to finish second and is likely to thrive when tried over more ground.  Master Mascus also shaped as if a longer trip will suit and stayed on to be three-quarters of a length further away in third, with Amazing Bolt running on to finish another neck behind him in fourth.

Depardieu is trained by Dean Kannemeyer, who reckoned his colt had been an unlucky loser of his previous race after being forced to switch around horses to make his run on the inside of his rivals.  In any case, Depardieu looks to be an improving type and there could be considerably more to come from him in the future.  He also shapes as if he will get more than 1200m, and while no future plans were announced after the Nursery he will be a colt to keep tabs on wherever he turns out next.

Depardieu is a son of Zafonic horse Dupont, who was a highly effective miler who won both the Italian and the German 2000 Guineas of 2002.  The Nursery winner is out of the Trigger Finger mare Diva, who won six races over 1200/1600m, and who is a half sister to champion Winter Solstice as well as a half sister to the dam of Gr 1 winner Bravura.  More distantly this is the family of recently retired Mother Russia, so there is no shortage of pedigree and seemingly no reason to believe that Depardieu won’t stay 1400/1600m.  Bred at Normandy Stud and acquired for R250 000 at the 2010 National Yearling sale, Depardieu races in the ownership of Bernard Kantor and Markus Jooste.  His two wins from three starts have earned stakes of R153 035.

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Betting World Cape Nursery (SAf-G3) (5/7)
Kenilworth, South Africa, May 7, R138.000, 1200m, turf, good, 1.13.50 (CR 1.09.90).
DEPARDIEU (SAF), 58.0, b c 2, Dupont (GB) – Diva (SAF) by Trigger Finger. Owner Mr B Kantor and Mr M J Jooste; breeder Normandy Stud (SAF); trainer D Kannemeyer; jockey K Neisius (R91.500)
Amber Palace (SAF), 58.0, b c 2, Dynasty (SAF) – Glowing Amber by Deputy Minister
Master Mascus (SAF), 58.0, b c 2, Western Winter – Landaulet (SAF) by Badger Land
Margins: 2½, ¾, nk
Also ran: Amazing Bolt (SAF) 58.0, Variety Club (SAF) 58.0, Lord Paramount (SAF) 58.0, Question Time (SAF) 58.0, Alberts Vigilance (SAF) 58.0, Transcendent (SAF) 58.0

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