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– Written by Mark van Deventer

(Image of PRINCELL CALLA by Chase Liebenberg)

Horse of the Year, PRINCESS CALLA will be heavily favoured to add yet another G1 to her stellar resume when she contests the Cartier Paddock Stakes, a weight for age event over 1800m for fillies and mares.

Already an 11-time winner from 25 starts in different centres and over a wide distance range, the versatile and classy six-year-old mare with an OMR of 127 has only twice missed the frame in an outstanding career. As such, she stands out over her rivals given the race conditions. Sean Tarry trains, Richard Fourie rides – they’re an expert duo.

World Sports Betting Cape Fillies Guineas heroine, BEACH BOMB is next best though she rates 10 points short of PRINCESS CALLA on official ratings. Who knows what her true ability is, as thus far she’s contested false run affairs where ability to quicken is the key factor. For example, the young daughter of LANCASTER BOMBER used a brilliantly sharp turn of foot to mug SILVER SANCTUARY on the line in that G1, and will attempt a similar feat against her elders while going an extra 200m.

(Image of BEACH BOMB by Chase Liebenberg)

In addition to BEACH BOMB, Candice Bass Robinson saddles RED PALACE, who was only outrun late by SNOW PILOT in the Hollywoodbets G1 Cape Guineas. That was a sterling try against the boys as she went in slightly underdone, having missed two spins due to misbehaving at the starting pens.

The daughter of POTALA PALACE could be better than officially rated, and much will depend on jockey Anthony Andrew’s pace judgement. RED PALACE goes best upfront and can dictate in this short field. If cut too much slack by her rivals down the back straight and into Hollywoodbets Kenilworth’s long sweeping turns, she could sustain a strong gallop and go all the way.

Four-year-olds, SAARTJIE and HAPPY CHANCE have similar chances. They clashed in the Victress Stakes three weeks ago with SAARTJIE, who has won both her starts over this track/trip, prevailing by a neck at level weights.

(Image of HAPPY CHANCE by Chase Liebenberg)

Both are admirable types having their 12th and 13th starts respectively. Given that horses typically hit their career bests between their 11th and 15th start, big runs can be expected. It’s debatable though whether even career peaks will prove sufficient in this context.

LOVE IS A ROSE and ROYALS will be outsiders in this seven-runner field. The latter could be a pace factor (she got loose on the lead and fortuitously beat a prepping BEACH BOMB at Hollywoodbets Durbanville in October), but it’s hard to envisage a scenario where she keeps going given early pace pressure from RED PALACE.

LOVE IS A ROSE is a stretch runner with a solid record over this course and distance, noted closing ground late behind SAARTJIE and HAPPY CHANCE. That was a smart effort and Greg Ennion slaps blinkers on to sharpen her resolve still more. However, she will need to progress even further to trouble much higher rated rivals.


Images by Chase Liebenberg