Another Gr2 For Kotzen

Champagne first Gr2 win for Anthony Andrews - and did Muzi Yeni stop riding the runner-up?

Trainer Glen Kotzen is enjoying a deserved Cape Summer Of Champions purple patch and picked up his second Gr2 win in the space of seven days,  when the smart 3yo Captain Al filly Princess Royal finished powerfully to win the R400 000 Gr2 Sceptre Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday.

Princess Royal win Sceptre Stakes

Anthony Andrews drives Princess Royal up to win the Gr2 Sceptre Stakes (Pic-Wayne Marks)

The Paarl-based Kotzen showed the benefit of an assertive decision following his charge’s low-key Choice Carriers Championship performance to package earlier hopes that Princess Royal would go further than the sprints – and together with the comforting presence of the 22 year old Argosy gelding , Ghostly Galleon to accompany her to the start, her biggest win to date was a team plan come together.

In a small but high quality field that included two Gr1 winners, the slightly quirky Princess Royal was allowed to start at generous odds of 8-1, as the previously consistent Sean Tarry speed queen Carry On Alice was a banker for many and jumped at 9-10.

The Listed East Cape Nursery winner, and runner-up to Entisaar in the Gr1 Alan Robertson Championship last term, the half-sister to champion Princess Victoria (Victory Moon) has always been  highly regarded, but her nervous disposition has tended to cost her valuable energy.

Enter horse behaviouralist Malan du Toit and the former Kotzen sprinting star Ghostly Galleon, and things panned out very differently on Saturday.

Riding his first Gr2 winner, jockey Anthony Andrews,  the Kotzens’ long-time Sorrento Stud neighbour, displayed nerves of steel, riding a balanced race as the line loomed nervously for the biggest win of his career so far.

Andrews, who got the chance in the absence of the injured Greg Cheyne, had Princess Royal settled in third as KZN challenger Cosmic Light tore off under Muzi Yeni to lead Champery.

Glen Kotzen - enjoying a decent run

Glen Kotzen – enjoying a decent run

With the fancied runners outpaced early, Princess Royal came forward strongly to challenge Cosmic Light at the 300m and after the two exchanged blows for 50m, Cosmic Light appeared to hang out as the Kotzen flyer ran straight as an arrow to the line.

Princess Royal put her head down and grabbed the verdict by a rather convincing half length in a time of 72,21 secs.

Yeni, while patently beaten, appeared to stop riding Cosmic Light in the latter stages and he was very lucky that he was not nabbed by a flying Cuvee Brut, unsighted down his inside.

Carry On Alice made up some ground but faded late to run out of the money.

The Choice Carriers- sponsored Anthony Andrews was over the moon:

“She jumped smartly and when I asked her she quickened readily all the way to the line. If it was a maiden race I would have thought I had it won at the 400m! Big thanks are due to Mr (Greg) Cheyne and Malan du Toit – she didn’t run her race before the start and it made all the difference.”

Trainer Glen Kotzen was the mastermind of the return to glory of the scopy filly, but seemed quite embarrassed about the ‘rough look’ of the veteran companion, Ghostly Galleon.

“I am glad we brought Ghostly Galleon out of retirement. He doesn’t look like much but he is a real star. Well done to Anthony Andrews too – he rode a confident race. A great team effort,” he said.

Justin Vermaak

Justin Vermaak – good day for Maine Chance Farms

Justin Vermaak, representing part-owners and breeders Maine Chance Farms, said that Princess Royal was now showing her true ability – and just ‘getting over her quirks’.

”Well done to Glen Kotzen and Anthony Andrews – and to Andreas (Jacobs), who is in the country,” he said.

Part-owner Georgina Jaffee,a  member of one of South Afica’s foremost horseracing families of the past few decades, said that her late Mother Jean always used to say that temperament was the key to a good horse.

Princess Royal has won 3 of her 9 starts with 4 places for stakes of R561 875.

She was bred by her part owners Maine Chance Farms and is a daughter of Captain Al out of the Rakeen mare, Platinum Princess.

Her half-sister, Equus champion race filly Princess Victoria was also trained by the Kotzens.


Gr2 Sceptre Stakes  (SAf-Gr2)

Kenilworth, South Africa, January 16, R400k, 1200m, turf, good, 1.12.21

1 – PRINCESS ROYAL (SAF), 54.5, b f 3, Captain Al (SAF) – Platinum Princess (SAF) by Rakeen (USA). Owner Maine Chance Farms (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Dr W A & Mrs N Jacobs) & Mr P G de Beyer & Ms G A Jaffee; Breeder Maine Chance; trainer GS Kotzen; jockey A Andrews
2 – Cosmic Light (SAF), 55.5, b c 3, Querari (GER) – Cosmic Dream (SAF) by Silvano (GER)
3 – Cuvee Brut (SAF), 58.0, b f 4, Count Dubois (GB) – Lemonzest (SAF) by Aristis (USA)
Margins: 0.50, 0.30, 0.75


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