This is one two year old filly that has trained on into something very special. Last season’s Equus award winning juvenile filly of the year, Princess Victoria doddled in to win the R150 000 Gr3 Poinsettia Stakes at Clairwood today.
Returning from a 134 day break after running a valiant third to Variety Club in the 2011 Gr1 Cape Guineas, the Princess showed no signs of her obvious lack of match fitness and cruised in to win the feature by 1,5 lengths from a flying Beach Beauty.
The smashing daughter of Victory Moon opened her 2012 campaign with a grass gallop that bagged yet another Graded race credit and a cheque of R99 457 to bring her gross career earnings up to the R1 550 000 mark. Not bad for a filly that sold for R325 000 at the 2010 National Yearling Sale.
The ten-strong field broke on terms and She’s A Stunner went up to lead the way with jockey Sean Cormack drifting a headstrong Princess towards the centre of the track as he took a strong hold of her just two lengths off the leader. She’s A Stunner continued to roll as Trinity House flattered briefly on the outside rail, but in a matter of strides the Kotzen filly swept into the lead and accelerated away to win very impressively.
Assistant trainer Frikke Greyling said that she was a champion but that sending out public favourites after a rest was ‘always pressure as everybody is looking at her.’ He said she would come on a lot with the run under the belt.
Sean Cormack, who has partnered her in her last four races following the semi-retirement of Andrew Fortune, said afterwards: “She’s awesome! She was not as well prepared as she was at the same time last year. She was probably 80% ready. There is plenty to work on and that is exciting.”
Princess Victoria is a dream filly to own and her form is outstanding. Her colours have only been lowered twice in nine starts and she had fair excuses in both. She ran second on her debut at Kenilworth beaten one length when starting at a now almost unbelievable 25-1. She was beaten by Trinity House who has won a further four races,and finished 5,35 lengths behind her in the Poinsettia today.
Princess Victoria was to go on and win her next six races after that solid debut, which included three Gr1 races and a Gr2, before running a game third to the top-class Variety Club in the Gr1 CapeGuineas.
The Maine Chance Farms-bred three year old is by the deceased Victory Moon out of the Rakeen mare, Platinum Princess. She is owned in partnership by her breeder, Cape racing personality Peter de Beyer and the Jaffee family, in whose silks she campaigns.
So where to from here? Princess Victoria hacked up in her only two starts in KwaZulu-Natal last season. She won the Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship run over 1200m at Scottsville and then went on to win the Gr1 Golden Slipper at Greyville over 1400m. She looks virtually impossible to peg back from 1000m to 1400m against her own sex.
She is a credit to trainer Glen Kotzen, who seems to find a ‘big’ horse, excuse the pun, every season. He has nurtured her along and Is unlikely to overdo things or change the winning recipe this season. She looks likely to contest the Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint at the end of May over 1200mand then the Gr1 Garden Province Stakes run over a mile on July day.
With Val De Ra sidelined after her disappointing run and epistaxis suffered in the Computaform Sprint yesterday, Camelia Stakes winner Welwitschia comes into the SA Fillies Sprint picture. Mike De Kock always has to be taken seriously and he looks like he has found the daughter of Oasis Dream’s preferred trip.
The 2012 Champions Season Charity Turf Challenge gets under way this coming Saturday 5 May and those punters looking to grab the R100 000 first prize at stake may be looking for ‘lurkers’ to include in their ten- horse squads. The trick of the competition is to get the right mix of a core of fancied performers, with a few shockers
One horse that fits the bill is the Dean Kannemeyer-trained In Writing who recorded his second consecutive win today when winning the Pinnacle Stakes over 2500m with ease.This was the lightly raced six year old’s sixth win from 29 starts.
The once promising and highly-rated Argentinian-bred son of Editor’s Note had won the Chairman’s Handicap over 3200m at Kenilworth two months ago by 6,25 lengths under circumstances that attracted some debate and criticism of the Cape jockeys. That day his rider MJ Odendaal had taken the initiative off a slow pace and sent him twenty lengths clear. The cynics were silenced though as he showed that to be no flash in the pan when winning well today under Karl Neisius.
Although Mike De Kock always has a few big guns, the marathon races are often there for the taking for a horse who is fit and stays. Punters will hardly forget Grey Cossack’s 40-1 victory in the Gr2 Gold Vase on July day last year.The Ladbrokes Gold Cup meeting is the final day of the Charity TurfChallenge and In Writing, who ran a fair 5,75 length seventh in last year’s race to Aslan in very soft going, may well be a dealmaking inclusion.
The Turf Challenge entries cost R50 each and the deadline is 13h00 on Saturday.
Feature Race result:
Poinsettia Stakes (SAf-G3) (4/29)
Clairwood, South Africa, April 29, R150.000, 1200m, turf, good, 1.09.49 (CR
PRINCESS VICTORIA (SAF), 58.0, b f 3, Victory Moon (SAF) – Platinum Princess
(SAF) by Rakeen. Owner P G de Beyer, G A Jaffee & M H, R C & L H Jaffee &
Maine Chance Farms; breeder Maine Chance Farms (SAF); trainer G S Kotzen;
jockey S Cormack (R99.457)
Beach Beauty (SAF), 60.0, b f 4, Dynasty (SAF) – Sun Coast (SAF) by Capture
She’s A Stunner (SAF), 58.0, b f 3, Toreador (IRE) – Little Stunner (SAF) by
Margins: 1½, nose, 2
Also ran: Barcelona Winter (SAF) 60.0, State Blue (SAF) 60.0, Mombasa (SAF)
60.0, Trinity House (SAF) 58.0, Romantic Moon (SAF) 60.0, Croc Valley (SAF)
60.0, Gibraltar Blue (IRE) 60.0