THERE were a couple of pundits around town who made four-year-old Nebula the best thing to look through a bridle this month, in Sunday’s Gr3 Betting World Algoa Cup over 2000m at Fairview.
Nebula was easy to back at 6s and better on Friday, but he shortened to 5s and down to 4-1 favourite after he’d cantered down to the start, beautifully turned out by Brett Crawford’s stable and striding out freely.
Nebula came back like he went down, travelling well and within striking distance throughout, and then held together for as long as possible by ace jockey Richard Fourie, who only let him off the bit with 250m to run for a sustained effort.
Nebula kicked and ran on, but one got the feeling that second-placed Captain Splendid would have caught him with another 100m to run – an indication that 2000m may be his maximum trip, perhaps 1800m his best.
Owner Edmund Stu would have been delighted with Nebula’s win, regardless of what his best distance may turn out to be. The Wilgerbosdrift-bred was expertly-placed by Crawford, and his handy galloping weight, tactics and jockeyship playing a definitive role in the outcome of the contest.
A full brother to 2013 J&B Met winner Martial Eagle, Nebula is a gelded son of former champion stallion Silvano and Seek The Wind, by Jallad. He was one of Crawford’s classic contenders as a three-year-old, proving to be just below the best of them but certainly more than good enough to win this Gr3 race off bottom weight.
With three wins from 12 starts and stake earnings approaching R380,000 Nebula has the scope to pick up another Graded feature and is one to watch, arguably up to 1800m if he takes on somewhat stronger.
Photo: Brett Crawford (Phumelela).