Nayef's Ice Breeze Denies Vazirabad In Royal-Oak Thriller

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5th at SCD, Gr. Stk, €350,000G1 Prix Royal-Oak (15 1/2f)Winner: Ice Breeze (GB), c, 3 by Nayef

Ice Breeze | Scoop Dyga

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As Vazirabad (Fr) (Manduro {Ger}) loomed with his usual perfectly-timed late thrust in Sunday's G1 Prix Royal-Oak at Saint-Cloud, his history bid looked briefly achieved but he had reckoned without the tough 3-year-old Ice Breeze (GB) (Nayef) and it was that Juddmonte homebred who came out on top to deny a third victory for His Highness The Aga Khan's premier stayer. Always happy sitting in fourth off the generous tempo, the 4-1 shot who had booked his ticket here with a success in the G2 Prix Chaudenay at Chantilly Sept. 30 was sent past Holdthasigreen (Fr) (Hold That Tiger) and into a narrow lead 500 metres out by Vincent Cheminaud. Digging deep to first ward off that challenge and then again to repel the 4-5 favourite in the final 100, Ice Breeze went away late to ultimately score with authority by 1 1/4 lengths from Vazirabad who had no excuses, with Holdthasigreen the only other rival to have a say two lengths behind as they pulled clear of the remainder.

Ice Breeze first came to prominence when beating Shakeel (Fr) (Dalakhani {Ire}) in the G2 Prix Hocquart over a mile and a half at Chantilly June 18, but was given too much to do when a closing fourth behind that rival in the G1 Grand Prix de Paris here on Bastille Day. Unsurprisingly no match for Cracksman (GB) (Frankel {GB}) when nearly nine-lengths fourth in the G2 Prix Niel back at Chantilly Sept. 10, he was upped three furlongs next time and ridden more positively and that combination proved the key as he outbattled the smart British raider Call To Mind (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) and classy compatriot Darbuzan (Fr) (Zamindar) in a solid renewal of the Chaudenay. “This horse has not missed a beat since his debut and has been so consistent and brave,” trainer Pascal Bary said. “The rhythm of the race suited him perfectly and is exactly what he needs, but hasn't had on all occasions so far this season. I have to admit that halfway down the straight when the favourite made his move it looked like he would beat us, but my horse was very brave and showed a lot of heart like he had last time. He is now through for the season and we hope we'll see him again next year.”

Providing Khalid Abdullah with another group 1 winner in another season to recall with relish, Ice Breeze is a full-brother to the former Sir Michael Stoute-trained Snow Sky (GB) who was third in the G1 St Leger before taking the G2 Yorkshire Cup and G2 Hardwicke S. The dam is the Listed Prix des Tourelles third Winter Silence (GB) (Dansili {GB}), a daughter of Hunt The Sun (GB) (Rainbow Quest) who has six black-type performers to her credit headed by the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic winner Polish Summer (GB) (Polish Precedent) and the GI Manhattan S. hero Meteor Storm (GB) (Bigstone {Ire}). Her daughter Winter Solstice (GB) (Unfuwain) was runner-up in the G3 Prix d'Aumale before producing the G2 Prix Greffulhe scorer Ice Blue (GB) (Dansili {GB}) and is also the second dam of the G1 Nassau S. heroine Winsili (GB), also by Dansili. The third dam Suntrap (Roberto) was responsible for the Group 1-winning stayers Raintrap (GB) and Sunshack (GB) and the G3 Prix des Reservoirs third Summer Breeze (GB) (Rainbow Quest), who in turn is the dam of the four-times pattern-race scorer Doctor Fremantle (GB) (Sadler's Wells). Winter Silence's as-yet unraced 2-year-old colt is named Air Frost (GB) (Iffraaj {GB}), while she also has a yearling filly by Kingman (GB) and a foal full-brother to Ice Breeze.

Sunday, Saint-Cloud, France
PRIX ROYAL-OAK-G1, €350,000, SCD, 10-22, 3yo/up, 15 1/2fT, 3:25.40, g/s.
1–ICE BREEZE (GB), 122, c, 3, by Nayef
1st Dam: Winter Silence (GB) (SP-Fr), by Dansili (GB)
2nd Dam: Hunt the Sun (GB), by Rainbow Quest
3rd Dam: Suntrap, by Roberto
1ST GROUP 1 WIN.
O-Khalid Abdullah; B-Juddmonte Farms Ltd (GB); T-Pascal Bary; J-Vincent Cheminaud. €199,990. Lifetime Record: 8-4-2-0, €466,150. *Full to Snow Sky (GB), MGSW & G1SP-Eng, $783,269. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Vazirabad (Fr), 130, g, 5, Manduro (Ger)–Visorama (Ire), by Linamix (Fr). O-H H The Aga Khan; B-H H The Aga Khan's Studs SC (FR); T-Alain de Royer-Dupre. €80,010.
3–Holdthasigreen (Fr), 130, g, 5, Hold That Tiger–Greentathir (Fr), by Muhtathir (GB). O/T-Claude Le Lay; B-Jean Gilbert & Claude Le Lay (FR). €40,005.
Margins: 1 1/4, 2, 8. Odds: 5.10, 0.80, 4.50.
Also Ran: Renneti (Fr), Kitesurf (GB), Oriental Eagle (Ger), Montaly (GB), Mille et Mille (GB), Brandon Castle (GB). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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