Sunday’s unique St Moritz meeting in the Swiss Alps was highlighted by local galloper Winterwind who won the Listed Grosser Preis von St Moritz. He was bred in Ireland and had won at Deauville and Milan earlier in his career.
Winterwind (6h Orpen – Brickey Beech by Precocious) is by a former Coolmore shuttler and is closely related to British import Gopak (Nureyev) who was a G2 placed in the VRC Craiglee Stakes and Dalgety Hcp.
Frankie Dettori was unplaced on his stablemate Saphir Bere. A full field of 18 runners competed in the 2000m event worth AUD 124,880.
The St Moritz races are held in February on a frozen lake and it takes three weeks to build the 1200m course. The thickness of the ice on the lake varies from 20cm to 55cm and it tends to settle with resounding booms under the weight of temporary grandstands, cars, spectators, and, of course, the horses which don’t seem to mind the unsteady surface.
In addition to thoroughbred racing, there are also events for trotters that pull sledges instead of sulkies, and skikjoring which is a Nordic word for being dragged behind a horse while on skis.
The other two thoroughbred events went to Libretto (Orpen), a Deauville winner in December, and African Art (Johannesburg), a Haydock Park winner in 2009.