Winter was forgotten in the flash of an eye as the Caesour colt Tevez took centre stage in glorious sunshine to land the gamble and score a resounding win in the R115 000 Listed Sophomore Sprint run over 1200m at Kenilworth today. After a brief dip into the red ink at 9-10, Val De Ra’s half-brother registered a third win in four years in this event for the doyen of Cape trainers, Mike Bass.
The carded weight of 54kgs allocated to Tevez caused some uncertainty for punters in the build-up with the jockey engagement, as neither of Karl Neisius or Bernard Fayd’Herbe were able to ride at that level. The connections decided to fly champion jockey Anton Marcus down to Cape Town to make sure that nothing went awry. Marcus declared a half kilo overweight but one can’t help thinking that the late jockey booking and the costs of the air-fare were not necessary in the end, as any one of five locals who sat it out in the weighing-room could have done the job – such was the authoritative manner of the win.
The money came for Tevez after the news of the jockey booking and the whispers that he had galloped with his stablemate What A Winter in his prep, after missing a run on 1 September. Little were we to know that What A Winter was hardly going to set the world alight just a half hour later.
But that mattered little as Marcus produced him at the 300m marker after tracking the pacesetting Here I Am and Captain’s Lullaby, and he surged ahead to assert himself in truly workmanlike fashion.
The Alado colt Half Moon Hotel maintained his very consistent form and ran on well for a 1,25 length second to upstage his far more fancied stablemate, Captain’s Lullaby, who just got tired late and finished in fourth after showing plenty of toe.
Captain’s Lullaby is another product of Avontuur Stud and she should win her fair share of races against her own sex in the future.
Awesome Power stayed on well for third. But Trainer Glen Puller will hopefully be coaching his Surging River gelding on raceday behaviour. Besides swerving towards the chute just after the post without consideration to the safety of his opponents, he had misbehaved on the way to the start and was led down by his rider, Denies Lee. He is obviously endowed with some ability though after producing a fair performance after his exertions.
While the race went largely according to plan, the Snaith yard will probably be slightly disappointed with the effort of their trio, while Gogotine and Girl’s Best Friend were nibbled at in the betting but never threatened.
Bred by Avontuur Stud, Tevez is a R700 000 National Sale graduate. He is by Varsfontein stallion Caesour out of the four-time winning Elliodor mare, Minelli. That’s a name we will all recognise as the headline grabbing dam of the brilliant sprinter, Val De Ra. She also produced the nine-time winner Mastery(by Dominion Royale) who was trained by Stan Elley.
The Avontuur Stud brains trust thus did the sensible thing when sending Minelli back to Caesour, and while they were probably praying for a filly as they make great broodmares, there is nothing wrong with this little lad named after a great footballer!
Avontuur General Manager Pippa Mickleburgh said that she had named the colt in honour of one of her favourite footballers, and added that it was most appropriate as he had been a gorgeous and strong-bodied athletic foal.
Exciting news for those owners and trainers with Gr1 winning aspirations will be the news that Tevez has a yearling half brother by Var, and thus a full-brother to Val De Ra, called Vincente – that’s Liza Minelli’s Dad’s name. He is likely to be offered on the Cape Premier Yearling Sale in January 2013 and this looks a guaranteed ticket to fame and fortune – if the budget permits.
Tevez was registering his second win and has one place on debut from his three starts for stake earnings of R122 650. His victory would have proven some consolation for the Mike Bass Racing team as their Equus champion sprinter What A Winter would land up running a dismally disappointing fourth in the race that followed.