The beautifully-bred 6yo speedster Rivarine set up a potentially magic month for his evergreen sire Var and finally cracked his long overdue Gr1 credit when he put in the performance of his life to win Saturday’s R425 000 Computaform Sprint at long odds under Devin Habib.
The Mike and Adam Azzie trained gelding has had a few owners and Gr1 close-calls in his distinguished career, and sent a welcome omen for his 2yo full-sister Delta Queen for next Saturday’s Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship at Hollywoodbets Scottsville, when clinging on grimly to deny the flying Cape raider Russet Air by a quarter length in a time of 56,72 secs.
Known as a horse who doesn’t enjoy any give in the ground, Rivarine was given a chance early as his stablemate Down To Zero, the talented Mr Flood and Chimichuri Run set the tempo..
The race was wide open inside the final 300m, but with a vigorous rein action, Devin Habib brought Rivarine forward down the outside at the 250m.
Putting in a big effort, the gelding ran all the way to the wire at 28-1 for a big win for owners Dr Melandie Taljaard and Sharon Azzie.
Piere Strydom was clearly on his Salusa 45 on the afternoon, and the legendary multiple champion almost made it a terrific day after three earlier wins, when he produced Cape Flying Championship winner Russet Air (7-1) with a late rattle down the inside.
Chimichuri Run (6-1) ran a typically game race in third, with the well backed Mr Flood (13-20) fading late into fourth.
The dual Gr1 placed Rivarine has now won 7 races with 11 places from 34 starts for stakes of R1 224 875.
He is his champion sire’s 24th individual Gr1 winner.
A R600 000 Cape Premier Yearling Sale Book 1 graduate, Rivarine was bred in partnership by Avontuur Stud and Mr & Mrs Cedric Amm.
The Amms raced the outstanding J&B Met winning River Jetez, a versatile daughter of Jet Master who won 11 races from 1400m to 2400m.