Avontuur stallion Oratorio topped the SA national sires table after last weekend and maintained his great run of form with a big victory by his smart son Viva Rio in the R150 000 Listed Racing Association Stakes at Fairview on Friday.
Glen Kotzen and the Woodhill Racing Team have an unparalleled record in the early season East Cape 3yo feature, having won the race four times in the past five years.
Their success dates all the way back to stable champion Big City Life in 2008, and in latter years the likes of Light The Lights (2014), Gold Standard (2016) and Pack Leader in 2017, have carried the Woodhill banner.
The bang in-form trainer travelled up the Garden Route for a ‘special weekend’ with wife Kathi and eldest son, Kuyan and came away with mission accomplished.
In a field that included the top local colt Foreign Source and smart Cape-based Cane Lime ‘N Soda, Morne Winnaar always had Viva Rio in an attacking position just off the two female pacemakers Mistress Of Means and Scarborough Fair, and lengthened in the home straight to beat Foreign Source in facile style by 2,50 lengths.
The winner’s time was 98,04 secs.
Cane Lime ‘N Soda brought some decent Cape form into the race. He had every chance and stayed on into third a further three quarters of a length back.
Jockey Morne Winnaar, who is riding with supreme confidence, said that Viva Rio was improving with every run. “He is learning fast and beat some nice horses today,” he added.
Glen Kotzen told anybody that would listen in the build-up that they would win it. He said modestly afterwards that it was always a race that they had used as a stepping stone.
“The Devachanders breed top-class horses from their small band of broodmares. I’m sorry they couldn’t make it. Well done to the whole team,” added Glen
Bred by the Devachander’s Gold Star Stud and racing in the family red and gold silks, Viva Rio is a son of form sire Oratorio (Danehill) out of the unraced Jet Master mare, Little Jet.
He is a winner of 3 races with 1 place from 7 starts for stakes of R211 625.
Oratorio rounded a good day at the office when he also sired the winner of the Fairview last race in Beethoven – trained by Tara Laing.