The decade opened in extraordinary fashion for Normandy Stud, in that we had three individual Grade One winners in 2010.

The first of these was Mother Russia, who added to her Majorca Stakes win the previous season with victories in the Grade I TBA Paddock Stakes and Empress Club Stakes. She also finished a half-length second to River Jetez in the J&B Met while conceding three half kilograms.

Bravura became our second Cape Derby winner, maintaining what was then an unbeaten record. Starting from the extreme outside stall, he was hustled into the lead by Anton Marcus to overcome the draw, and then settled in a handy position. Bravura hit the front soon after turning for home and triumphed after fighting off the challenge of Noordhoek Flyer, who actually headed him at one point.

Our third Grade I winner of the season was Captain’s Gal, who won the SA Fillies Sprint (as well as the Grade II Camellia Stakes).

In addition to these, Rushing Wind had several Grades Stakes places, including a second-place finish in the Golden Horse Casino Sprint (Gr I).

The following season, Mother Russia took her tally of Grade I wins to four, with a facile win in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate. This race, which must rank as South Africa’s premier weight-for-age race over 1600m, was won in 2005 and 2006 by fellow Normandy-bred Winter Solstice. She followed up with a second-place finish in the J&B Met, adding to her second in this race in 2010.

Both Mother Russia and Winter Solstice are out of daughters of our wonderful mare Terpsichore. Our Investec Cape Derby winner, Bravura, is out of a half-sister to Winter Solstice.

Depardieu, also from the Terpsichore family, closed his two-year-old season with a promising win in the Grade III Betting World Cape Nursery. As an early three-year-old he took the Grade III Cape Classic, accounting for future L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner Gimmethegreenlight.

Also in 2011, Bravura’s first run with blinkers saw him home in one of the Cape’s most important trials, the Green Point Stakes (Gr II). He fought off the late challenge of Tales of Bravery, who ran second to Mother Russia in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate.

2012 opened with two cracking performances by Bravura, neither of which, unfortunately, saw him in the winner’s box. First, he ran fourth in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, beaten less than two lengths, after losing at least that by running very wide throughout. Then, he made the running (carrying top weight) in the J&B Met, and was only caught by Igugu in the shadow of the post. This was the fifth time that a Normandy Stud horse has finished second in the J&B Met, which may be some kind of record!

Depardieu provided some consolation, in April, by taking the Grade III Byerley Turk.

When Cap Alright won the Betting World Merchants (Gr II) in November, he became the fifth graded stakes winner from the Terpsichore family. The others are Winter Solstice, Mother Russia, Bravura and Depardieu. He may not be the best sprinter we bred, but he has a special place in our hearts. For a horse who took 11 starts to break his maiden, the 12 months leading up to his Merchants win were exceptional. He won 6 of 13 starts, showing dramatic improvement throughout the year.

On the day of Cap Alright’s Merchants victory, Penthouse won the Grade III HRIB Gold Cup Sprint, to become the sixth graded stakes-winner from the Terpsichore family. She is out of a half-sister to Cap Alright.

As sometimes happens, especially when a stud breeds a relatively small number of foals every year, we had to wait until 2016 for our next bit of top-level excitement.

In a unique Nursery double at Kenilworth, Sergeant Hardy won the Grade III Cape of Good Hope Nursery, and Nordic Breeze the Grade III Kenilworth Fillies Nursery. She would follow up later in her career (of 6 wins) by winning the Grade III Champagne Stakes.

The high point of Sergeant Hardy’s career was his victory in the 2018 Grade I Cape Flying Championship. His established form gave him strong claims to being the best sprinter of his generation, but his well-documented breathing issues, as well as an inability to corner when racing right-handed, affected his career at key points.
He has subsequently retired to Normandy, where he shares a paddock with Bravura.

In 2015, we foaled two Captain Al colts. As yearlings, it was hard to choose between Sergeant Hardy and Crowd Pleaser. While his career didn’t reach the heights of Sergeant Hardy’s, Crowd Pleaser was a dangerous front-runner at Greyville, with two victories there, including the Grade III Betting World 2200. His three close seconds at Greyville also included a close second in this race the following year.