Only eight runners line up for the R150 000 Listed Storm Bird Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday. With five winners amongst them, including two Spies fillies, a KZN dark horse raider and a beautifully-bred first timer from the Sean Tarry yard, who would want to risk the rent money with a punt on the nose?
Corne Spies is one of the best judges in the game and when he makes a tactical call to get the weight allowance with his fillies and take on the boys, then he could well mean business.
But the two Var males, Rivarine and He’s A Var look very decent.
Rivarine was the highly anticipated first foal of international star and J&B Met winner River Jetez, and the handsome bay colt has looked every inch a horse for the future since winning on debut over Saturday’s course and distance on 2 January.
Backed to win, he did not disappoint in getting the better of stablemate Aussie Austin, who won on Gauteng Guineas Saturday.
Next time out things did not go according to the script, with Rivarine slow off and running green.
Giving away 3kgs, he was beaten a length by a very decent sort i9n Leon Erasmus’ He’s A Var, he just looked more composed and mature on the night.
They meet at level weights on Saturday, and the return match looks to be an interesting sideshow.
Corne Spies opts to run two fillies here rather than the Storm Bird Stakes.
Anthony Delpech partners the Querari 800m debut winner Fresh, who looked very forward and fast when winning on debut in December. She was well supported and won a good race.
Her stablemate Rasberry (yes, it is a strange spelling) Lips showed nothing before travelling to Kimberley to win her maiden. It is difficult getting too upbeat about her prospects here.
Sean Tarry’s well bred Trippi first-timer Flying Myth looks set to fly and his debut here may suggest that the colt is equal to the test. He cost R800 000 at sale and is out of a good mare.
The last two look to have an uphill battle.
Le Tigre ran fourth on an unfancied debut and had Flight Mode four lengths behind him.
Rivarine must surely have benefitted from his last run and if he runs straight could have this lot beaten.