Two shrewd buys from CTS auctions are the proverbial ‘talk of the town’, following major wins on Champions Day at Turffontein on Saturday.
First, Rio Querari stamped himself as South Africa’s champion sprinter with a breath-taking win in the Gr1 Computaform Sprint over 1000m, and then the accomplished Got The Greenlight put his rivals to bed in the Gr1 R750 000 4Racing Gr1 Premier’s Champions Challenge over 2000m. There were some reservations that Rio Querari, having had to travel to Johannesburg via Durban, would show his best at altitude, but it has been done before.
Racing from off the pace in the early stages of the race, Rio Querari was given a shake-up with 300m to run. He barged his way through and quickened away in stunning fashion to win by 2.25-lengths in a lightning fast 56.03s. Bohica got second, True To Life third.
“He’s a horse I’d like to go to war with, the best sprinter I’ve ever sat on,” said jockey Grant van Niekerk, who had identified Rio Querari as the successor to his stablemate Kasimir’s throne.
Bred by Normandy Stud, Rio Querari has won 6 of 16 starts with 9 places, for prize money topping R1,5 million. He is by Maine Chance Farms’ Oasis Dream stallion Querari, out of the Windrush mare Arctic Breeze, and was a R625 000 purchase from the 2018 CTS Ready To Run Sale.
Rio Querari races for Richard Edmundson, Bryn Ressell and Jill Warner, and is trained by Justin Snaith.
An objection briefly interrupted the post-race celebrations of the victorious Joey Soma team after Got The Greenlight won the contest that was dubbed ‘The Race Of The Titans’.
After being beaten three quarters of a length on Second Base, jockey Gavin Lerena objected against the victor on the grounds of interference suffered at the 1600m. On the replay, Lerena can be seen taking his mount back sharply as Yeni shifts the eventual winner inwards – around the mile marker – but the Stipes overruled Lerena’s plea.
Got The Greenlight’s emotional part-owner Dayalan Chinsammy lauded his big horse as ‘a champion’, and said horseracing was “the greatest game in the world.”
Soma bought Got The Greenlight for just R110 000 off the 2018 CTS April Yearling Sale. The popular colt took his earnings to R3 150 500, with his eighth win and seven places from sixteen starts.
Got The Greenlight races in a partnership of Dayalan Chinsammy, Hassen Adams and Joey Soma, and he was bred at Adams’ Nadeson Park Stud. Chinsammy said: “Hassen is not well, and we hope this will give him a second wind!”
Got The Greenlight is by Varsfontein ace sire Gimmethegreenlight (More Than Ready) out of the one-time winner Command Chi (Commands).
Soma will decide this week on the plans to, either travel to KZN early, or leave it to the eve of the Durban July at Hollywoodbets Greyville.