So Wotif (8 weeks old) foal at Brighthill Farm with his dam Electricity
Arthur Avis with his pride and joy 'So Wotiff'
Photo Trish Dunell
Story: Paul Vettise
So Wotif - Born and raised at Brighthill Farm.
Arthur Avis is hoping for some beginner’s luck tomorrow when he will be at Caulfield racecourse to watch his talented three-year-old So Wotif in action.
The Bombay Hills farmer has been racing horses for more than two decades and his current star will be the veteran owner’s debut runner in Australia.
“It will be a first for me and I’m looking forward to it,” Avis said. “I was born and bred in Trentham and that’s where I got my racing interest.”
The very active octogenarian has raced a number of horses over the years with Riotous, a five-time winner from Richard Collett’s yard, his best before So Wotif, who has to date won four of his eight starts.
On the advice of Auckland-based bloodstock agent Robert Dawe, Avis went to $115,000 to secure the chestnut from Maara Grange’s 2011 Select Sale draft at Karaka. The chestnut’s dam is a half-sister to the Gr. 1 Doomben Cup winner Mr Bureaucrat.
“The Iffraajs were pretty popular with the Aussies at the time so I had to pay a bit more than I wanted to, but I’m not complaining now,” Avis added.
So Wotif showed an early return on the investment with two-year-old successes at Matamata and Te Aroha before the close of his first campaign. He has returned to outstanding form this season with two placings before an Ellerslie double that included victory in the Gr. 3 NZB Insurance Pearl Series Mr Tiz Trophy at the Auckland Cup carnival. In his only subsequent start he finished third in the Gr. 3 Windsor Park Stud Breeders’ Stakes, confirming a Melbourne campaign.
So Wotif will make his Australian debut in a A$100,000 three-year-old event over 1100 metres, with Damian Lane booked for the ride. “We’ll see how he goes and there’s another 1200 metre race for him two weeks later at Flemington that he’s going to be nominated for,” Avis said.