Trainer Mike Azzie and his top owners Adriaan and Rika Van Vuuren have enjoyed something of a rollercoaster season. But on the premise that all’s well that ends well, things are looking up as they celebrated a terrific Gr1 success with the lovely Querari Falcon skating home to win the R600 000 Thekwini Stakes at Greyville on Sunday.
The occasion, just three months after the team’s sensational SA Triple Crown success with Abashiri, also marked a well deserved Gr1 icebreaker for Maine Chance Farm’s promising second crop sire Querari.
The Gr1 winning son of Oasis Dream has proven to be a quality producer, with a commendable stakes performer strike rate that sees his progeny in high demand.
Querari Falcon looks to be very promising and accounted for the Golden Slipper runner-up and pre-race favourite Dawn Calling with ease.
The comments from winning rider Anthony Delpech are worth noting.
“Querari Falcon has been working well at home and I knew that we could beat them today. I said to Mr Azzie I’d like to ride her confident. I gave her a chance, she’s still learning but she’s very talented. She has her first Grade 1 race now and she has a bright future!”
The astute Azzie used stablemate Oasis Queen to make the pace a true run affair as she was tracked by Dawn Calling, with Querari Falcon in midfield and five lengths adrift.
Into the straight, Dawn Calling moved forward dangerously but appeared to shift around under pressure as Querari Falcon unwound down the outside.
Into the 200m, Querari Falcon was at full gallop and she drew away to win by a length in a time of 98,42 secs.
Dawn Attack showed solid resolve to cling on for second ahead of a flying Sail, with the momentarily dangerous Safe Harbour one-paced in fourth.
The lovely Querari Falcon was purchased for a bargain R90 000 by Adriaan Van Vuuren off the 2015 CTS August Two-Year-Old Sale in Cape Town.
She is out of the one-time winning Crimson Waves mare, Pretty Waves and was bred by the late Ben Botha, son Arne Botha and family.
Querari Falcon has won 2 of her 3 starts with 1 place and took her stakes to R452 000.
For the Azzman, the win rounded off a positive season and fifth placed finish on the national log with gross stakes of R13 859 812.
Gr1 Thekwini Stakes (SAf-Gr1)
Greyville, South Africa, July 31, R600k, 1600m, turf, soft, 1.38.42
1 – QUERARI FALCON (SAF), 60.0, b f 2, Querari (GER) – Pretty Waves (SAF) by Crimson Waves (SAF). Owner Mr A & Mrs F J Van Vuuren; Breeder BH & AJ Botha; trainer MG Azzie; jockey A Delpech
2 – Dawn Calling (SAF), 60.0, b f 2, Trippi (USA) – Acquavella (GB) by Danehill Dancer (IRE)
3 – Sail (SAF), 60.0, b f 2, Philanthropist (USA) – Cutty Sark (SAF) by Fort Wood (USA)
Margins: 1.00, 0.15, 1.00