Gr1 Allan Robertson Filles Ch’ship – Queen Victoria

Princess Victoria

Princess Victoria

Princess Victoria rocketed straight to the head of the class when she took on virtually every one of the most accomplished two-year-old females seen so far this season and gave them a memorable hiding in the Allan Robertson Championship over 1200m at Scottsville on Saturday.   Her connections and supporters alike can be thankful for the power of flexible thinking as Princess Victoria didn’t even have the Allan Robertson on her agenda when she arrived from Cape Town, but a very easy success in a five runner race at Clairwood in April brought about a change of plans.

Hidden Beauty had run away with the Gr 2 Fillies Nursery at Turffontein four weeks earlier and was well supported from an ante-post call of 9/2 to go off as the 3/1 market leader in a field of 14, with original favourite Trinity House the 33/10 second choice of punters in her bid to stretch her unbeaten career record to five wins.  Princess Victoria was the 75/20 third favourite for a contest that was widely expected to be dominated by out-of-town runners.

She’s A Stunner had easily won a Gr 3 over 1000m at Clairwood the previous month and was an early leader in the Allan Robertson, with Comtesse Dubois and Hidden Beauty prominent as Trinity House and Princess Victoria raced a few lengths off the early speed.  Lavish Gal was also up with the initial pace as Indigo Princess and Extra Zero raced further back.  She’s A Stunner still led coming past the 300m, where Trinity House was battling to get going as Hidden Beauty moved right into contention, but the race was about to undergo a dramatic transformation.  Princess Victoria had raced in a pocket towards the far side for much of the way, but she began to zero in on the leaders, switching out for a run passing the 200m and accelerating in a handful of strides to put the issue beyond doubt.  She quickened away in terrific style under Andrew Fortune and didn’t need to be punched out all the way to the line as she came home 3.25 lengths clear of a running-on Up Front.    The latter is still a maiden, but this was her second Graded Stakes runner-s-up cheque in succession and Barend Botes’ filly will be surely start as a red-hot favourite if and when she reverts to a maiden race.

Hidden Beauty – who had beaten Up Front by 3.25 lengths into second in the Fillies Nursery – was half-a-length behind that rival in third place this time.  She’s A Stunner ran out of steam late in her first attempt beyond 1000m and finished fourth, another half-a-length behind Hidden Beauty.  Lady Var and Trinity House finished fifth and sixth respectively, with the former getting the better of the latter for the first time in three encounters.  Trinity House never really got going and was beaten 6.25 lengths behind Princess Victoria, a far cry from when Joey Ramsden’s filly inflicted Princess Victoria’s only defeat to date when both fillies were making their debuts at Kenilworth in January.

Heat-of-the-moment stuff usually needs taking with a large pinch of salt, but Princess Victoria was impressive and came in for some big words of praise from her jockey.  “She is comfortably the best two-year-old filly I have ever ridden,” enthused Fortune, who just for good measure repeated the statement later in his interview when he said that “she is the best two-year-old I have ridden.”  Note: he left out the “filly” qualifier, the second time around.

Princess Victoria is trained by Glen Kotzen, who would not be drawn into announcing future plans.  There are two other Gr 1 races for juvenile fillies in KZN this winter, but Kotzen remarked that “we don’t want to over race her”, although admitting that Andrew Fortune announced that it would be “no race” if Princess Victoria lined up for either of those events.  “I’ll discuss it with the owners,” was all the trainer would add.

Princess Victoria became the first Gr 1 winner sired by deceased Victory Moon, the 2004 Dubai horse-of-the-year who is having a terrific year with his two-year-old daughters and who is the sire also of third placed Hidden Beauty.  She is the fourth foal and fourth winner produced from unraced Rakeen mare Platinum Princess, who is a half sister to 2000m Gr 3 winner and Gr 1 placed Cup Of Grace.  With that pedigree Princess Victoria (who bears a considerable resemblance to Victory Moon) is seemingly assured of staying further than sprint distances, and looks to have a very rosy future indeed.  Bred and still part-owned by Maine Chance Farms, she was a R325 000 purchase from the 2010 National Yearling Sale and has won three times from four starts for earnings of R454 135.  By landing the Allan Robertson she has maintained the proud record of winners of the Listed juvenile event on J & B Met day (where she trotted up by 3.25 lengths)  almost invariably going on to win at Graded level.


Allan Robertson Fillies Championship (SAf-G1) (5/28)
Scottsville, South Africa, May 28, R500.000, 1200m, turf, good, 1.09.35 (CR 1.07.00).
PRINCESS VICTORIA (SAF), 58.0, b f 2, Victory Moon (SAF) – Platinum Princess (SAF) by Rakeen. Owner G A Jaffee, M H, R C & L H Jaffee, P G de Beyer and Maine Chance Farms; breeder Maine Chance Farms (SAF); trainer G S Kotzen; jockey A Fortune (R331.522)
Up Front (SAF), 58.0, b f 2, Count Dubois (GB) – Whispering Academy (AUS) by Royal Academy
Hidden Beauty (SAF), 58.0, ch f 2, Victory Moon (SAF) – Hidcote Blue (SAF) by National Assembly
Margins: 3¼, ½, ½
Also ran: She’s A Stunner (SAF) 58.0, Lady Var (SAF) 58.0, Trinity House (SAF) 58.0, Extra Zero (SAF) 58.0, Indigo Princess (SAF) 58.0, Amanee (AUS) 58.0, Lavish Gal (SAF) 58.0, Aspen Angle (SAF) 58.0, Comtesse Dubois (SAF) 58.0, Sheztheclubqueen (SAF) 58.0, Extraordinaire (SAF) 58.0

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