Tarry’s female stars bite the dust as bookies celebrate
Princess Calla and Mrs Geriatrix are surprisingly beaten at Durbanville
Before Saturday’s meeting at Hollywoodbets Durbanville, anyone suggesting that trainer Sean Tarry’s female aces, Princess Calla and Mrs Geriatrix, would both get beaten would have been directed to the nearest lunatic asylum.
However, at a meeting where bookmakers received an early Christmas present, both were beaten with Princess Calla’s defeat in the Turf Talk Syndicate Stakes confining thousands of Pick Six tickets to the bin.
Interestingly, Tarry had been interviewed by Turftalk ahead of the 1,250m race and — commenting on last season’s Horse-of-the-Year — said: “She’s done enough work, she’s a bit overweight so should need the run, but I’m still hopeful her class will get her through to win.”
On arguably his most distressing day of the season, jockey Richard Fourie found King Regent — with a merit-rating of 18 points inferior to Princess Calla — too smart on the day. Glen Kotzen’s son of Dynasty was well handled by young Philasande Mxoli to give the gelding the fourth win of his career.
Princess Calla started at 5-10 but bookmakers indicated they felt they could beat unbeaten Mrs Geriatrix in the WC Fillies Championship, as they gradually extended the filly’s price out to 14-10.
This time Fourie and the Magical Lady Syndicate knew their fate a long way out as another Kotzen inmate, Rascova, roared off to the front under Craig Zackey and never looked like getting beaten.
“This race opens the door for us for the three-year-old season,” enthused Zackey in the post-race interview. His mount had been beaten nearly four lengths by Mrs Geriatrix when they clashed in the Golden Slipper at Greyville in July.
Double Grand Slam made significant late progress to fill the runner-up berth and trainer Justin Snaith will now be eyeing next month’s Cape Fillies Guineas with some confidence. No question the daughter of Vercingetorix — co-owned by Gary Player — is on an upward spiral.
Royals, a daughter of Gold Standard, had the advantage of pole position and she took third place and is looking a bargain buy at R100,000.
It will have come as a shock to her legion of fans that Mrs Geriatrix was beaten five lengths — the first time she has tasted defeat in seven outings.
Tarry had told Turftalk: “Although there isn’t a horse I’m worried about, there are a lot of horses who are on the up and have form. So I think it is one of her toughest tasks.”
The Cape Mile (grade 3) provided a red-letter day for the Andrews family with son, Anthony, piloting his parents owned and bred four-year-old, Montein, to an impressive win.
Trainer Piet Botha looked the happiest man on the planet in the post-race celebrations and he certainly has a talented performer on his hands. The son of Louis The King has now won four of his 10 starts.
For a long way it looked as if Fourie’s excellent partnership with Royal Aussie would land this grade 3 event, but Montien found the better finish. There were disappointing performances from Double Superlative and Waterberry Lane who both trailed in six lengths behind the winner.
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