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Never underestimate a horse raised at Riverton Stud in the betting

by Sarah Whitelaw.

Upsets continue despite an average of only 15 yearlings entering the market from Riverton each year.

Mighty Astrix downs stars in Champions Challenge

When the Paul Peter trained 66/1 shot Astrix downed a top-class field to win the recent G1 TAB The Premier’s Champions Challenge, he joined an ever growing list of G1 winners bred by the Riverton Stud (Astrix seen winning the Premier’s below (Candiese Lenferna))..

Astrix fights back to win the Champions Challenge (Candiese Lenferna)

In landing the 2022 Champions Challenge, Astrix accounted for no fewer than four G1 winners including this season’s G1 World Sports Betting Presents The Gauteng Summer Cup winner Flying Carpet, G1 Vodacom Durban July/WSB Cape Town Met hero Kommetdieding and recent G1 Wilgerbosdrift HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes winner MK’s Pride.

The gelding, who was bred by the same Riverside Grooms Co-Op who pinhooked his sire Vercingetorix, took his earnings to over R2 000 000 with his first G1 win on Saturday -a fine return on the R60 000 it took for Paul Peter to acquire him from the 2018 Cape Yearling Sale! 

Unfortunately, Astrix’s dam, the Victory Moon mare Victory Dance is deceased -although Victory Dance’s very smart son Indlamu looks more than capable of adding further to his dam’s success!

Captain Of All continues to fire

There have been fewer more brilliant sprinters seen in South Africa in recent years than the Riverton bred champion Captain Of All, officially rated the second fastest horse in the world in 2015. 

Winner of seven of just 12 starts, the speedy son of Captain Al won the G1 Gold Medallion at two, before coming back better than ever at four. His four wins as a four-year-old included a sparkling win, under 60kgs, in the 2015 G1 Golden Horse Sprint before going on to smash champions Carry On Alice and Legislate by four and a half lengths and just over four and a half lengths respectively in the G1 Mercury Sprint on his final racecourse appearance.

Captain Of All has subsequently gone on to enjoy notable success at stud, and was South Africa’s Leading First Season Sire of 2018-2019.

His dual G1 winning son, and last season’s G1 Vodacom Durban July runner up, Linebacker is likely to run next in the G1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge with Linebacker’s main aim being the 2022 Hollywoodbets Durban July.

Pearl Of Asia -another G1 winner for Riverton

Astrix, Captain Of All, Domino Man, and Potent Power are just a few of the G1 winners bred by Riverton Stud. Another is last season’s G1 Mercury Sprint victor Pearl Of Asia (Pictured below). 

The latter accounted for an outstanding field and a 40-1 upset when he lifted the 2021 Mercury Sprint for trainers Robbie and Shannon Hill, and owner Gerald Kalil.

A son of Pathfork and the Tiger Ridge mare Asiatic Pearl, Pearl Of Asia’s beaten Mercury Sprint rivals included a pair of Equus Champions in Kasimir and Rio Querari and fellow G1 winners MK’s Pride, Chimichuri Run and Bohica.

MK’s Pride and Bohica paid handsome compliments to Pearl Of Asia’s win when victorious in this season’s G1 Wilgerbosdrift HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes and G1 Pongracz Cape Flying Championship respectively!

Riverton’s ties to South Africa’s sire sensation

There can be no denying that former Equus Champion, and G1 Jebel Hatta victor, Vercingetorix is the hottest stallion in the country.

The champion son of Silvano came up with his fifth G1 winner when the Riverton bred Astrix won Saturday’s G1 TAB The Premier’s Champions Challenge, with Vercingetorix’s other top-level winners this season being Chansonette (World Sports Betting Cape Fillies Guineas) and Pomp And Power (Jonsson Workwear Cape Derby).

Astrix was one of two graded stakes winners for Vercingetorix on Saturday with the latter’s champion son Nebraas victorious in the same day’s G3 The Citizen Gold Bowl.

Currently well clear on the South African General Sires List for 2021-2022, Vercingetorix also had a tremendous sale at the recent National Yearling Sale.

The bay had yearlings make up to R3 000 000 with Vercingetorix supplying seven yearlings to fetch R1 000 000 or more.

Riverton Stud has strong ties to this sensational stallion -with the Riverside Thoroughbred Co-Operative selling Vercingetorix, who was raised at Riverton for eight months, for R1 400 000 at the 2011 National Yearling Sale. The rest is, as they say, history!

The Riverside Grooms Co-op with Astrix as a foal by Vercingetorix, who is today a sire sensation. This is the same Grooms Co-op that pin-hooked the legendary multiple graded stakes winner Vercingetorix from Klawervlei Stud as a weanling.

Vercingetorix was by no means the only pin-hooking success story to have emerged from Riverton Stud, however.

Duncan pin-hooked Tales of Bravery, bred for the Victory Moon Syndicate at Riverton, who went on to win both the G2 Drill Hall Stakes and G3 Matchem Stakes, while Duncan, in partnership with John Gatt, was also involved in pin-hooking, and selling on, a pair of subsequent G1 winners in the form of Russian Rock (Cape Racing Presents The Cape Guineas) and Same Jurisdiction (Thekwini Stakes, Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes) respectively.

First stakes winner for Coup De Grace 

Riverton has a fantastic record with producing stakes winners sired by a range of different stallions and the farm did it again when the Riverton bred Chere For Me became the first stakes winner for Tapit horse Coup De Grace when she won the Listed East Cape Fillies Nursery earlier in the season.

Trained by Jacques Strydom, Chere For Me, a winner of two of just four starts, stormed home to land the 2022 East Cape Fillies Nursery by two and a quarter lengths for her owners Vishal Mungroo, Nad Moodley, Trishen Moodley, Kevin Naidoo & Shephard Shumba, Messrs J V A Strydom, K P Shooter, Mrs M O Strydom & Money Talks.

Chere For Me, who is out of the Grey Eminence mare Red Eminence, numbers the Riverton Stud bred G1 winner Potent Power, also victorious in Hong Kong, as a close relative.

Main Picture: The Paul Peter-trained Astrix being led in after winning the Grade 1 TAB wfa Premier’s Champions Challenge for owners Mr G D Tooch & Hyperpaint Syndicate (Nom: Mr J T Peter). (Candiese Lenferna).