The Justin Snaith-trained Rio Querari stamped himself a leading contender for the Equus Champion Sprinter Award when running out an emphatic winner of the G1 4Racing Computaform Sprint (1000m) at Turffontein on Saturday.

The gelded four-year-old, flown up to Gauteng from KwaZulu-Natal, was making his first start in Johannesburg and having his first outing since landing February 27th’s G2 Khaya Stables Diadem Sprint, but he proved far too good for his opponents with Rio Querari putting up a performance of real class in Saturday’s G1 sprint.

The only ride on the card for jockey Grant Van Niekerk, Rio Querari was sent off a well-backed 20-11 shot, despite fears of altitude negatively impacting him, as speedy filly True To Life was sent off tote favourite for the Computaform Sprint.

Van Niekerk kept Rio Querari off the speed early on, as last year’s winner Rivarine lost ground at the start. Rivarine’s stablemate Bohica, along with Anna Capri and Miracle Flight, were quickly away and made much of the early running.

However, Rio Querari was produced with a devastating late run, under a confident Grant Van Niekerk, down towards the inside and the Snaith trained gelding powered clear to win as he liked by two and a quarter lengths.

The consistent Bohica had to settle for second place in a graded race for a second time by filling the runner-up berth, with favourite True To Life, finishing half a length off Bohica back in third spot.}

Rio Querari, who claimed his first G1 win in a time of 56.03 seconds, has now won six of his 16 starts for earnings of R1 591 075.

Bred by the Normandy Stud, Rio Querari was a R625 000 buy from the 2018 CTS Ready To Run Sale when purchased by John Freeman.

A second G1 winner for Maine Chance Farms’ Oasis Dream horse Querari, Rio Querari is out of the unplaced Windrush mare Arctic Breeze, a full-sister to the graded stakes winners Nordic Breeze and Rushing Wind and half-sister to East Cape Guineas winner Ice Wine.

He hails from the same family as Saturday’s brilliant G2 4Racing Gerald Rosenberg Stakes victress Netta.

Racing Image: JC Photos