Oratorio High Continues

Global Glory For Oratorio


Clenor and jockey Rafael Bejarano, left, hold off Nesso (Martin Garcia), right, to win the $100,000 Surfer Girl Stakes, Sunday, October 6, 2013 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA (Benoit Photo)

Avontuur’s super sire Oratorio delivered the goods this weekend again with stakes performances on either side of the Atlantic. After high drama following a terrific effort by Chalnetta in the Gr2 Qatar Prix de Royallieu at Longchamp on Saturday, the Irish bred Clenor booked her Breeders’ Cup berth with a terrific win in California on Sunday.

With his extraordinary run of international stakes winners this year, the Avontuur based son of Danehill has become a permanent fixture on our pages and in racing news worldwide. Two of his talented daughters stepped up to the podium and carried his banner with pride and glory again.

Chalnetta fought off a game challenge from Ebiyza in a thrilling Gr2 Prix de Royallieu finish , only for the result to be reversed after a long stewards’ inquiry into the matter. The Christophe Ferland-trained three-year-old hit the front inside the closing stages and stayed on well under the guidance of Julien Auge to pass the post a head in front of Ebiyza.

The heartbreaking reversal means that the daughter of Oratorio, whose only victory came in a Listed race at Bordeaux Les Bouscat earlier this season, has now finished second in her last three starts in Gr2 company. Despite the stewards’ decision, she has more than justified her trainer’s faith in her outstanding ability with yet another impressive performance here, and plenty should be heard from her.

Oratorio’s 2yo daughter, the Irish bred Clenor, made no mistakes when winning the $100 000 Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita on Sunday, her final prep for the Breeders’ Cup. Covered up early by Rafael Bejarano, Clenor was full of running around the final turn, and angled five-wide 400m from home. She straightened out impressively down the straight to win the $100,000 Surfer Girl Stakes by three-quarters of a length, getting a mile on grass in 1:34.38. She now stands as perhaps the horse to beat in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita on 1 November. Impressive at odds-on in her first two stateside starts at Del Mar, Irish-bred Clenor is now a perfect three for three going one mile on turf for trainer Doug O’Neill. “She’s such a nice filly,” said O’Neill. “Raffy said he sensed speed was holding, so he didn’t want to give her too much to do. He had her a little closer up today and she responded well.

“Breeders’ Cup here we come, as long as she stays injury-free, that’s the goal.” Owned by Scott Kaplan’s Great Friends Stable, Robert Cseplo and Steven Keh, Clenor banked the winner’s share of $60,000, and increased her earnings to $172,799. She now has three wins and a third from six starts. Enthusiastic owners Martin and Diane Johnson are one of twenty plus owners in Great Friends Stable, who own approximately 30% of Clenor. They are schoolteachers living the dream of not only owning racehorses, but now also of owning a potential champion!

In a lovely show of the human and passionate side of the high stakes sport of kings environment, they contacted Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh straight after the win with the good news.

“Clenor is a sweetheart in the barn, as well as an impressive winner on the turf. She makes ‘oinking’ sounds and will raise her front hoof when she wants a horse cookie. Doug O’Neill, her trainer, and his team have done a brilliant job with her. We have been fortunate to visit Africa twice to date and we will definitely visit again and next time come on by and say ‘hi’ to Clenor’s daddy,” they said.

Have Your Say - *Please Use Your Name & Surname

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages readers to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that the Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their actual name and surname – no anonymous posts or use of pseudonyms will be accepted. You can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the EditorThe Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Please note that the views that are published are not necessarily those of the Sporting Post.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Popular Posts

From Chaos To Reform

Charl Pretorius writes in his Off The Record column on the 4Racing website that owners, trainers and racing fans are gravely concerned about the state of our industry

Read More »