She is a year older and a lot wiser! The champion filly Princess Victoria won the R250 000 Gr2 Tibouchina Stakes at Clairwood last year in dazzling style and looks to repeat the feat again on Saturday. The Kotzen runner looks a cut above her opposition.
The star 4yo has only had five runs in the ensuing twelve months and won the Gr1 Garden Province Stakes on July day in sensational style. She is taking the same route this time around, and looks the proverbial good thing to achieve chapter one of that challenge.
One of the best fillies to race in this country in the past few decades, Princess Victoria has had something of a disrupted prep this season as the plans to race her in America appear to have been shelved for now. It is believed that she was in the same draft as Variety Club, and it is quite ironic that two of the biggest drawcards of the afternoon are here thanks to the often inevitable obstacle of red tape.
Princess Victoria ran on strongly for third in the SA Fillies Sprint and may be more comfortable with this trip as a mature filly. At the weights Princess Victoria is unbeatable, but nothing is cast in stone in horseracing.
The classy Sean Tarry trained Happy Archer is well and has the value added services of champion jockey Anton Marcus. Happy Archer has won 7 of her 30 starts, and came back to form in a Pinnacle Stakes over Saturday’s course and distance when going down narrowly to a never say die Louvre last time out. She had run well when fifth behind Beach beauty in the Drill Hall Stakes after being caught wide, and looks to be edging back to something like her best.
De Kock Trio
Mike De Kock has a nice three way coupling, headed by the former Eric Sands trained Halfway To Heaven. The daughter of Jet Master who won the Prix Du Cap earlier this year, may have needed her opening KZN run when tiring late in that same Pinnacle Stakes won by Louvre. She would no doubt have come on lengths with that run and is worth considering. The 3yo UK bred daughter of Danehill Espumanti won her first three starts in top style, but has run unplaced in her last two.
She was slow away and subsequently run off her feet in the Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint, and will be far happier at this track over the extra ground. De Kock’s third runner is the poorly drawn Amur Affair who cames straight out of a good fourth in the Gr1 Empress Club Stakes behind Thunder Dance. Her draw obviously counts against her, but she is worth including in the quarrtets.
The Snaith Strydom combination team up with the Captain Al filly Earth’s Orbit.The three time winner won a rather weak opening sprint at Clairwood in mid May, and could be able to improve further still. It is difficult envisaging her turning the tables on Princess Victoria though.
Justin Snaith’s other runner is Comtesse Dubois, who will be ridden by Muzi Yeni. She was scratched not eating up from the SA Fillies Sprint, but ran a good third in the Poinsettia Stakes at her last racecourse appearance. She was blowing hard after that run and probably needed it after a two month break.
Dean Kannemeyer’s Captain Al filly Bermuda Sloop hasdrawn against the paint, and has shown a liking for the extended sprint after appearing to have pretensions of a more staying type. She appears to run for Brandon Lerena, and while hardly in the league of a Princess Victoria, could hang on for minor place money.
Brett Crawford’s Tamburlaine filly Reflective Image is seldom far off but is poorly drawn and may be a bit outclassed in this company. Kum Naidoo’s King’s Temptress is unfortunately poorly drawn at 11, but ran a very good fourth to Festival Of Fire in the KRA Fillies Guineas early last month. She is a high class filly who always gives of her best, and could give the more fancied runners a fright.
Louis Goosen’s Stronghold filly Negev is looking to redeem herself after fading badly in the SA Fillies Classic at the end of March. She may need the run after a rest, but has shown enough ability at times to challenge for the places. The Mike Bass trained Northern Heritage has lost all signs of form and should not threaten here.
Princess Victoria looks set to regain her winning ways and achieve the double. She should win this easily.