Drakenstein Stud’s red hot sire What A Winter, South Africa’s Leading First Crop Sire of 2016-2017, dominated G1 action at Kenilworth on Saturday, with his son Russet Air landing the G1 Cape Flying Championship and daughter Clouds Unfold defending her title when winning the G1 Bidvest Majorca Stakes on the same card.
Remarkably, both Russet Air and Clouds Unfold are trained by Candice Bass-Robinson, and both were partnered to victory on Saturday by Aldo Domeyer.
The Lammerskraal Stud bred Russet Air picked up the first G1 win of his career when downing a star studded field to win Saturday’s R1 000 000 Cape Flying Championship in taking fashion. (His beaten rivals in Saturday’s race included four G1 winners as well as the previously unbeaten Australian bred filly Run Fox Run). Russet Air, who had captured the G2 Cape Merchants back in November, made it win number five when running on strongly down the inside to score a short head win over G1 Tsogo Sun Sprint winner Bold Respect.
The four-year-old, third in the Listed Southeaster Sprint at his last start, took his earnings to R1 124 150 with his win on Saturday.
Russet Air’s brilliant, paternal half-sister Clouds Unfold made it win number eight, from just 12 starts, when winning the G1 Majorca Stakes for a second year in a row. Under a brilliant ride from Domeyer, the Drakenstein Stud bred and owned four-year-old defied a wide draw of 13 to down champion, and impressive recent G2 Cartier Sceptre Stakes winner, Celtic Sea to land the first prize of R625 000 by a long neck –going away!
In landing the Majorca Stakes for a second year running, Clouds Unfold accounted for four G1 winners including the Exceed And Excel sired G1 Cartier Paddock Stakes winner Queen Supreme.
Clouds Unfold, whose earnings now stand at R2 228 125, has now five graded triumphs to her name and clearly ranks with the best fillies in training.
What A Winter, whose Sophomore Sprint winning son Three Two Charlie picked up R500 000 when fourth in Saturday’s The CTS 1200, also looks to have a promising two-year-old to his name, with his daughter Stuck On You finishing a creditable third in Saturday’s Listed Cape Town And Western Cape Marketed By Wesgro Summer Juvenile Stakes.
The triple Equus Champion has nine lots on this month’s Cape Yearling Sale.