Rio’s Win­ter looks the part

Pretoria News - - THE RACEGOER -

THE Stephen Moffat yard’s con­fi­dence in the R70,000 pur­chase Rio’s Win­ter was con­verted on Wed­nes­day night in the Grade 2 Wil­ger­bos­drift Gaut­eng Fil­lies Guineas when she moved up look­ing the win­ner be­fore be­ing nar­rowly de­nied by the classy and coura­geous favourite Sum­mer Pud­ding.

The Or­a­to­rio filly had thus re­peated the feat of her mother Win­ter Ade (West­ern Win­ter), who fin­ished sec­ond in this race for Ge­off Woodruff in 2007.

Moffat said she had come out of the race very well and added, "Piere Stry­dom has no doubt she will stay 1 800m, so we will def­i­nitely take our chances in the SA Fil­lies Clas­sic (Grade 1 R1 mil­lion race at Turf­fontein Stand­side on March 7, also spon­sored by Wil­ger­bos­drift), although I'm not sure about her get­ting the 2450m SA Oaks trip."

Con­sid­er­ing her good breed­ing the price Rio's Win­ter was ac­quired for at the Na­tional Year­ling Sales in 2018 was a bar­gain.

Win­ter Ade was not only a Grade 2 run­ner up but is also a half-sis­ter to two other stakes placed horses, Au­tumn Splen­dour and Count Tas­silo.

Moffat re­called, "I liked her thought I would take a chance."

He ad­mit­ted R70,000 was still a lot to pay for his small yard but be­lieved the rea­son for the rel­a­tive lack of in­ter­est in her at the Sales was prob­a­bly due to her size.

He said, "She was a bit on the small side, but I could see she would grow into a lovely big filly."

Vaal-based Moffat put to­gether a syn­di­cate of friends, whom he con­firmed are now "very happy friends."

The syn­di­cate con­sists of Clin­ton Lines, PJ Del­port, N Del­port, R Del­port, S Del­port and Stephen Moffat's wife Ju­lia.

Win­ter Ade

so

Whereas Win­ter Ade started at odds of 40-1 in the 2007 Gaut­eng Fil­lies Guineas and was beaten 1,75 lengths by Dane Ju­lia, Rio's Win­ter was backed in from 18-1 into 9-1.

Moffat said, "I thought she would just about win and she did ev­ery­thing but win."

The ro­bust filly showed good gate­speed from draw six and Stry­dom was able to slot in front of Sum­mer Pud­ding and se­cure the rail just as they reached the first turn.

She re­laxed well in the box seat. Stry­dom kept her cov­ered in the straight on the out­side un­til the 400m mark and then switched in­ward for her run. Her res­o­lute fin­ish had taken her level with Sum­mer Pud­ding by the 100m mark and her mo­men­tum looked likely to carry her to vic­tory.

How­ever, Sum­mer Pud­ding is full of class and courage and fought back to win by a quar­ter of a length.

The dis­tance was on the sharp side of Sum­mer Pud­ding's Range, so Rio's Win­ter is go­ing to have a tough task to re­verse form.

How­ever, her per­for­mance was no fluke, she looks the part and will likely do bet­ter than her mother's seven length tenth in the SA Fil­lies Clas­sic.

Rio's Win­ter showed Moffat how good she was from day one and won her de­but in a Maiden Ju­ve­nile Plate over 1200m last April by three lengths.

She took her chances in the Grade 2 SA Fil­lies Nurs­ery and the Grade 1 Alan Robert­son and fin­ished un­placed in both.

How­ever, the con­nec­tions knew she wanted fur­ther.

She won fourth time out this sea­son when stepped up to 1450m in a Grad­u­a­tion Plate for fil­lies and mares and en­joyed the fur­ther step up to a mile last Wed­nes­day.

Her half-sis­ter by Mo­gok, Win­ter, has won over 1800m.

Rio's Win­ter has earned R251,900 in stakes so far. al­ways

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