Sunday, 3 June 2012
: Rank outsider Viva Maria, caused an upset after running away with the R500 000, Group 1 Woolavington 2000 over 2000m at Greyville on Saturday.
| Viva Maria wins the Woolavington|
Photo by Liesl King
The 33/1 daughter of Jet Master had not set any tracks alight in her previous starts, with her best effort being a second placing in a Listed Merit rated Handicap.
Two things however counted in her favour, she was trained by Mike de Kock and had the master tactician, Anthony Delpech, in the saddle.
From barrier eleven, Delpech sent the filly forward to set a strong gallop down the back straight. Delpech gradually increased his lead and turning for home, Viva Maria had put six lengths between herself and the rest of the field.
Favourite Ilha Bela
, also from the De Kock stable, suddenly found herself with eight lengths to make up after settling well off the pace early on. M J Byleveld on Dubai Gina
(AUS) set off after the lone leader, but it was a case of too little too late.
By the time the field realised that Viva Maria
was not stopping, they could do nothing but watch her win in the distance. Ilha Bela, running on late, showed a tremendous turn of foot, to get within four lengths of Viva Maria, but the result was never in any danger.
The winning time was 2.00.70, with Ilha Bela in second, 4L back and a further 0.5L to Dubai Gina in third.
Speaking prior to the race, De Kock had commented that he was not sure if Viva Maria would see out the 2000m.
“I am running her, because it is a three-year-old race and I don't see a fast pace. If she gets a soft lead, she could finish in the money.”
With a winner's check of R312 500, nearly tripling her prior earnings, Viva Maria finished in the money indeed. Ilha Bela, in position 14 on the Vodacom Durban July log, impressed in second and with a light weight in the Vodacom Durban July, she could be a force to be reckoned with.
Viva Maria, by Jet Master out of the Badger land mare Bardot recorded her fourth victory and first Group victory for owner-breeder Mike Rattray's Lammerskraal Stud.