Last season’s Champion First Crop Sire What A Winter has made a scintillating start to the 2017-2018 racing season, and the former Equus Champion had a notable double at Durbanville on Wednesday afternoon.
What A Winter was responsible for the first two finishers in the day’s opening race, a maiden plate over 1200m, where Night In Winter and Red Eight gave trainer Vaughan Marshall the 1-2 for the first.
Bred by Drakenstein Stud, Night In Winter ran on powerfully in the closing stages to provide apprentice Akshay Balloo with his 40th winner.
Out of the Jet Master mare Night Jet, Night In Winter had cost R400 000 at the 2016 Val De Vie Yearling Sale.
Just minutes later, another son of What A Winter was in the winners enclosure, when the Candice Bass-Robinson trained Cape Xtreme powered home, as favourite, to break his maiden over 2000 metres.
The gelding, bred like his sire by Daytona Stud, is out of the Fort Wood mare Cape Floral and is thus bred on the same What A Winter/Fort Wood cross as East Cape Nursery hero Fort Winter.
Triple Equus Champion, and four time G1 winner, What A Winter is also the sire of unbeaten filly Magical Wonderland, a likely contender for the upcoming G2 Cape Championship and last season’s G3 Cape Of Good Hope Nursery hero Dutch Philip, who recently made a pleasing return to racing.
To date, the champion has been represented by 14 first crop winners including G1 Premiers Champion Stakes third Warrior’s Rest, who returns to the track this weekend.
What A Winter is once again fully booked this breeding season.