Zanzibari's Nonza Causes an Upset In the Jean Romanet

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5th at DVL, Gr. Stk, €250,000G1 Darley Prix Jean Romanet (10f)Winner: Nonza (Fr), f, 4 by Zanzibari

Nonza | Scoop Dyga

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The G1 Darley Prix Jean Romanet “dark horse” Nonza (Fr) (Zanzibari) must have been France's best-kept secret prior to Sunday, but Henri-Francois Devin pulled the rabbit out of the hat as the 4-year-old overcame some established high-class performers to make a dramatic breakthrough. Untested in anything like this company but a proven winner time and again, the homebred bay who booked her ticket with a first black-type success in the 10 1/2-furlong Listed Prix de la Pepiniere at Maisons-Laffitte July 22 took up an unassuming early role towards the rear under Alexis Badel. As they turned for home, there was unwanted drama as Rhododendron (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) went wrong and was eased by Ryan Moore and as Urban Fox (GB) (Foxwedge {Aus}) cut loose Nonza had almost three lengths to make up on that G1 Pretty Polly S. winner. Eating into the deficit as the line neared, the 12-1 shot managed it in the final strides to prevail by a neck as Navaro Girl (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) gave the outcome an even greater element of upset 1 3/4 lengths further behind in third. “It as a great performance and as my first group 1 it is a very emotional moment,” Devin said of the winner who is Haras du Mesnil breeding through and through. “It obviously has special meaning or my family and everyone is here and they are all involved. She belongs to the family of Terre a Terre (Fr) (Kaldounevees {Fr}) who won the [G1] Prix de l'Opera in 2001 and it's been a long wait but we've got there again. She is a very progressive filly who has taken a lot of time to come around, but she can't be faulted this year and the logical race is the Opera [at ParisLongchamp Oct. 7].”

Introduced at Chateaubriant last April, Nonza was off the mark at the first time of asking over an extended nine furlongs but was only seen next in November when runner-up in a conditions event on Chantilly's Polytrack before running third on the same surface here on Boxing Day. Kept on the go over the winter as connections chased lost time, she returned to winning ways over 9 1/2 furlongs back at Chantilly Jan. 15 and again had a lengthy break before continuing the thread when successful over the same track, trip and surface Apr. 16. It was not until the Prix de la Pepiniere that she emerged as a black-type filly on turf but there was still a leap to be made to become competitive with peers who had been mixing it in the major group 1s of Europe and the Classics. Devin, who is not yet in his mid-thirties, has an eye for talent honed during his tenure under Andre Fabre and Nonza did nothing here to expose his judgement as unsound.

Nonza is only the second foal out of the homebred maiden Terra Alta (Fr) (Kaldounevees {Fr}), a full-sibling of the aforementioned Terre a Terre who added the G1 Dubai Duty Free to her Prix de l'Opera victory and was also third in the G1 Hong Kong Cup in these silks. Like Nonza, she started off small before becoming big-time and has produced the G3 Prix Cleopatre third Terra Incognita (GB) (Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}). Terre a Terre's full-brother Kachgai (Ire) took the Listed Prix Pelleas and was runner-up in the G3 Prix de Meautry, while the third dam Soloist (Alleged) is a half to the GSW sire Polished Brass (Dixie Brass) from the family of the GII American Derby winner Tizdejavu (Tiznow). Terra Alta's as-yet unraced 2-year-old filly by Doctor Dino (Fr) is named Terra Dina (Fr), while she also has a yearling filly by the same sire named Anahata (Fr).

Sunday, Deauville, France
DARLEY PRIX JEAN ROMANET-G1, €250,000, Deauville, 8-19, 4yo/up, f/m, 10fT, 2:06.46, gd.
1–NONZA (FR), 126, f, 4, by Zanzibari
1st Dam: Terra Alta (Fr), by Kaldounevees (Fr)
2nd Dam: Toujours Juste (Fr), by Always Fair
3rd Dam: Soloist, by Alleged
1ST GROUP WIN; 1ST GROUP 1 WIN. O/B-Mme Antonia Devin (FR); T-Henri-Francois Devin; J-Alexis Badel. €142,850. Lifetime Record: 7-5-1-0, €211,870. Werk Nick Rating: C+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Urban Fox (GB), 126, f, 4, Foxwedge (Aus)–Lomapamar (GB), by Nashwan. (10,000gns Ylg '15 TAOCT; 425,000gns 3yo '17 TATMA). O-Barnane Stud Ltd; B-Mascalls Stud (GB); T-William Haggas. €57,150.
3–Navaro Girl (Ire), 126, f, 4, Holy Roman Emperor (Ire)">Holy Roman Emperor (Ire)–Neele (Ire), by Peintre Celebre. O-Stall Nizza; B-Jurgen Imm (IRE); T-Peter Schiergen. €28,575.
Margins: NK, 1 3/4, HD. Odds: 11.00, 1.90, 25.00.
Also Ran: Lady Frankel (GB), I'm So Fancy (Ire), Bateel (Ire), Golden Legend (Fr), Wilamina (Ire), Rhododendron (Ire). Scratched: Haggle (GB). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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