THREE-year-old sprinter Rivarine, who remained in Mike Azzie’s stable after owner Adriaan Van Vuuren’s dispersal sale last November, picked up the Gr3 Lebelo Sprint over 1000m for his new owners at Turffontein’s standside track on Saturday.
Rivarine clocked a lightning fast 55,58s in winning the race by 2.25-lengths from Queen Laurie and Wrecking Ball, and gave apprentice Lyle Hewitson his 49th winner of the season.
Owned now by the partnership of Azzie’s old-time patron Tinus Gericke and Brian Riley, Rivarine is an Avontuur-bred son of VAR and the internationally well-performed SA-bred River Jetez, and Azzie said: “Tinus bought Rivarine privately before the sale and Brian took a share.
“Brian is a patron of Sean Tarry’s stable and also races with Candice Bass-Robinson. There is an unwritten rule that we don’t pinch each other’s owners and this certainly wasn’t the intention here. Last year Tinus and I were on a boat cruise just before the Magic Millions Sale in Australia when we met Brian(Riley), Brian Burnard and a few others and we all became good friends.
“Brian Riley expressed an interest in getting a horse with us and when the decent runner Rivarine came up Tinus offered him a share. We’re glad to have won this feature for the partnership.”
Rivarine is still improving. He won very well and rates among the better sprinters of his generation – he’s a prospect for the upcoming feature events in Gauteng and Durban.
Meanwhile Azzie’s six-time winning 2016 Triple Crown star, Abashiri, is in good shape for Saturday’s Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate over 1600m at Kenilworth.
Abashiri was seen staying on nicely after a rest in the recent Gr2 Green Point Stakes over the Queen’s Plate course and distance, finishing nine lengths adrift of Legal Eagle and Marinaresco, and Azzie reported: “Abashiri has enjoyed his spell in Cape Town, he is stabled with Eric Sands and doing very well. He wasn’t eating well before the Green Point Stakes and I told Anthony Delpech just to drop him right out and nurse him around the left-handed bend. They were way out of their ground coming into the straight and did well to get into fifth.
“Abashiri has come on nicely from that run. The Queen’s Plate is his final prep run into the Sun Met and will bring him along even further, but I won’t be surprised if he runs a place on Saturday.”
Photo: Mike Azzie and assistant Frikkie Greyling with the Lebelo Sprint Trophies awarded by RA Hostess, Tyler.