Movie Star Stuff

Viva Maria wins R150 000 Gr3 Flamboyant Stakes

Viva! Anthony Delpech steers the Lammerskraal owned and bred Viva Maria to a smooth win in the Gr3 Flamboyant Stakes

The Mike De Kock yard started the New Year on a high note when the Jet Master filly Viva Maria produced a gutsy effort to lead from gun to tape to win the R150 000 Gr3 Flamboyant Stakes run over a mile at Clairwood on Tuesday.

The Gr1 winning and very classy Viva Maria stood out head and shoulders above her eight opponents and was slung in at the weights. Despite looking to come under pressure late in the home run, her class and superior ability ruled the day in a power display of relentless galloping.

Four On The Board! An elated Anthony Delpech is all smiles after his feature win on Viva Maria

Anthony Delpech had no hesitation in taking Viva Maria up to lead from the break after her stablemate Checcetti had pecked badly on leaving the gates.

The field kept a good few horse lengths off the rail as the favourite led London Olympics, Checcetti, Felix The Cat and Black Is Black, with the rest strung out and Approach Me at the rear.

Turning for home the order remained intact as they all dashed for the middle inside and Viva Maria skipped a length or three clear. At this point Approach Me commenced what looked a threatening  run down the outside rail as Felix The Cat and Black Is Black had nothing more to offer.

In the final 200m Viva Maria appeared to come under momentary pressure, before gearing up to go on and win very smartly.

Viva Maria won by 2,25 lengths in a time of 97,76 secs

It was a fourth winner on the day for the high-riding Anthony Delpech, who showed again that he has few peers when it comes to reliability and cool, calm competence in the saddle.

The  40-1 Kom Naidoo-trained Keep On Dreaming kept on well, just ahead of Alastair Gordon’s Chosen Goddess, who did her prospects no favour when ducking in late in the race. The 3yo daughter of Goldkeeper was only having her third start, and looks like something above average in the making. She is a must for the notebook.

Viva Maria was bred by and races in the famous red and white Lammerskraal Stud silks. She is by the  ill-fated champion sire Jet Master, out of the five-time winning Badger Land mare Bardot. Hence her rather clever name after a movie of the golden era of the beautiful screen icon!

We have already noted that Viva Maria was weighted to win this event. She added to her impressive record by  registered a fifth victory and second place from ten starts.

She took her stake earnings to R575 841, and looks to have plenty of racing in the tank yet.


Flamboyant S. (SAf-G3) (1/1)

Clairwood, South Africa, January 1, R150.000, 1600m, turf, good, 1.37.76

VIVA MARIA (SAF), 60.0, b f 4, Jet Master (SAF) – Bardot (SAF) by Badger
Land (USA). Owner & breeder Lammerskraal Stud; trainer MF de Kock; jockey A
Delpech (R93.750)

Keep On Dreaming (SAF), 60.0, b m 5, Surging River (CAN) – Fields Hill (SAF)
by Northfields (USA)

Chosen Goddess (SAF), 52.0, b f 3, Goldkeeper (USA) – Most Precious (SAF) by
Qui Danzig (USA)

Margins: 2¼, nose, 1½

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