Altitude concern for Snaith

Rio Querari, favourite to win the Grade 1 4Racing Computaform Sprint over 1000m, may find the altitude his biggest threat.

That was the word from trainer Justin Snaith, who will be accompanying his lone runner to the Highveld on Saturday.

“Obviously the altitude is always a concern,” said Snaith. “If the altitude doesn’t get to him, he will run a big race. But the altitude is always a concern.”

According to Snaith his Querari gelding is in top nick.

“He’s doing well. Everything is spot-on and has gone according to plan.”

Snaith is planning a hit-and-run raid with his only runner at Turffontein on Champions Day as Rio Querari was still in Snaith’s yard in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.

“We’ll be there close to the race,” was his response when asked about his runner’s travel itinerary.

Interestingly, Rio Querari will be jockey Grant van Niekerk’s only ride on the day.

A trainer who sends out a lone raider and an accompanying jockey, must be very confident of his charge. And Snaith should be – considering Rio Querari boasts 14 top-three finishes from 15 career outings.

True To Life, trained by Johan Janse van Vuuren, is probably the biggest equine threat to Rio Querari.

Priced up at 33-10, this Duke Of Marmalade filly is on a hat-trick and has already recorded two wins from three runs over course and distance.

Janse van Vuuren was his usual short and sweet self when asked about his runner’s condition ahead of the race. “She’s fit and well and I am expecting a very competitive race,” said the trainer.

With only four merit rating points separating the two favourites – Rio Querari is rated 125 and True To Life 121 – and the latter getting a 2.5kg sex allowance, there is nothing between them at the weights.

The Sean Tarry-trained Chimichuri Run drifted to 12-1, the same price offered on the other Cape raider in the race, Russet Air trained by Candice Bass-Robinson, as well as Gareth Van Zyl’s Chantyman.

The rest of the field are all 18-1 and better.

Punters should remember that there is a R2-million Quartet carryover on the Computaform Sprint with the pool expected to reach R5-million.

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