Trainer Mike De Kock struck an early blow at the Scottsville Festival Of Speed celebrations when SA Fillies Nursery winner Entisaar outgunned her rivals with an impressive display of galloping to win the R600 000 Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship in a scrappy race that looks bound to produce a few hardluck stories.
The multiple feature winning Australian-bred daughter of More Than Ready showed that her solitary defeat in four runs – at the hands of Speedy Suzy in the Pretty Polly Stakes – was all wrong, and she looks to have a very bright future ahead of her.
The 2yo fillies speed championship attracted a smart field as it always does and it was the eventual winner’s stablemate Shaama, who went off an 18-10 favourite, with plenty of support for the Kotzen duo of Princess Royal and Visionaire’s undefeated Royal Pleasure.
With Entisaar drifting from an opening call of 7-2 out to 7-1, Speedy Suzy was quickly away and she led Swift Sarah and Chestnuts N Pearls.
They fanned out at the 400m as Speedy Suzy came under pressure with Royal Pleasure looking dangerous on the rail as a full of running Princess Royal and Entisaar shopped for a gap.
With nothing going better, Johnny Geroudis found the split two off the rail and Entisaar came bounding into the lead as Greg Cheyne was forced to angle further to the outside for his run on Princess Royal.
The move by Entisaar proved to be the dealmaker as she grabbed two lengths on her field and despite twitching her ears and looking around, she won full of running and beat the fast-finishing Princess Royal by a length in a time of 70,18 secs.
There are some who may consider Princess Royal a trifle unlucky. The fact is that it was her second consecutive hard-luck story at the track and there is no guessing what reserves Entisaar nay have drawn on had she been challenged. Princess Royal may also be more comfortable over 1400m.
Recent debut winner Madame Dubois caught the eye when staying on for a fairly decent black-type earning credit in third.
Corne Spies’ Speedy Suzy also showed plenty of courage to stay on for a five length fourth.
She shaded Royal Pleasure, who was under the whip at the 300m and failed to produce a kick.
Entisaar has won 3 of her 4 starts (all feature victories) with a feature runner-up berth in the Gr3 Pretty Polly Stakes to her credit.
She took her stakes earnings to R758 750 with this victory.
Entisaar was bred in Australia by Echo Beach Bloodstock, Vic
She is by More Than Ready (USA) out of the Gr3 placed Catbird mare, Purrpurrlena (AUS), a daughter of stakes-winner Magdalena.
She was purchased by Shadwell for A$300,000 from the draft of Vinery Stud.
De Kock made it a double after he had won the race last year with another Australian filly in the talented Alboran Sea – who was beaten into second place in the Gr1 City Of Pietermaritzburg (SA) Fillies Sprint two races later.
Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship (SAf-Gr1)
Scottsville, South Africa, May 23, R600k, 1200m, turf, good, 1.10.18
1 – ENTISAAR (AUS), 60.0, b f 2, More Than Ready (USA) – Purrpurrlena (AUS) by Catbird (AUS). Owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum; Breeder bred in Australia; trainer MF de Kock; jockey J Geroudis
2 – Princess Royal (SAF), 60.0, b f 2, Captain Al (SAF) – Platinum Princess (SAF) by Rakeen (USA)
3 – Madame Dubois (SAF), 60.0, ch f 2, Count Dubois (GB) – Miss Jet Set (SAF) by Jet Master (SAF)
Margins: 1.00, 1.25, 2.75