Rio Valiente Fights Off Injury For Auction Triumph

SIX weeks of devoted and constant attention carried Rio Valiente through to victory in the Group 3 Ipswich Auction Final (520m) on Saturday evening.

David Brasch

20 September 2020

SIX weeks of devoted attention carried Rio Valiente through to victory in the Group 3 Ipswich Auction Final on Saturday night for brothers Jason and Craig Schmidt and their nephew Scott Dionysius.

The son of Zambora Brockie and Mercedes Lass has been carrying a stopper ligament problem for all that time but he held up to score a 4 1/4 length victory in the rich finale to defeat Head Bairn and Daniel’s Loss.

“It’s a great thrill,” said trainer Jason Schmidt.

“It’s the family’s first group race win. And what a night we had!”

While the victory in the Auction final was “hoped for”, Scott won a 431 metre maiden with Bonita Flame – the family’s “special” of the night at $10.

Then, Craig Schmidt landed the Auction Consolation with Bonita Flame’s litter sister Savitar.

But it was the battle to get Rio Valiente to the final that took up Jason’s constant attention.

“All thanks to Tom Tzouvelis for helping us get him through the last six weeks,” Schmidt said.

“And to others like Tony Brett and Ross Ogden who gave us plenty of support as well.

“His training for the past six weeks has been restricted to racing and walking him in the water at Beachmere.”

The Schmidt family was involved in greyhound racing until the 1990s.

“When a few of the other tracks were closed, and our families were fast growing up, we decided to get out of the game,” said Jason.

“The first greyhound we bought when we came back in was Mercedes Lass, the mother of Rio Valiente.”

That Bartrim Bale x Sealin’ The Deal bitch won three races for the family but promised much, much more, even though she was a 30.08 winner at Albion Park.

She was always going to be the family’s foundation bitch in their return to racing.

Her litter to El Grand Senor produced Rio Brave, the winner of seven races and $30,000 which promised so much but broke his hock which forced his retirement but not before he ran a class record 30.30 at Ipswich, was third in the Ipswich Derby, but a finalist in the G1 Silver Chief, G1 National Derby and G3 Ipswich Cup from just 17 starts.

“We’ve registered him at stud and will use him ourselves,” said Craig Schmidt.

“And, if anyone else wants to use him, he will be available.”

Rio Valiente will now have six weeks break to allow the stopper ligament to fully recover.

Jason says he “almost lost him” at the Auction.

“I was bidding for him while Craig was handling him,” said Jason.

“But, for some reason the spotters did not see my bid and Craig and I had to yell out the bid.

“We got him back for $4000 and lucky it was too.”

Rio Valiente was the only pup in the litter to Zambora Brockie.

“Mercedes Lass needed a caesarean for her first litter and this affected her having the second litter,” said Jason. “She has since died from cancer.

“But, we have a sister to Rio Brave called Spanish Flame who we will breed with in the next six months, maybe to Zambora Brockie.”