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The PEDIGREE PROFILE -Princess Calla

Sarah Whitelaw

Top-class filly Princess Calla will be bidding to claim an elusive first G1 win when she lines up in the G1 HSH Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes this weekend.

To date, the four-year-old has finished in the top four in no fewer than seven G1 races and connections, no doubt, will be hoping she gets her turn in the sun on Saturday.

Princess Calla, a R600 000 buy from the 2019 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, is a daughter of 2005 G1 Travers Stakes winner Flower Alley.

She is one of 29 stakes winners for her sire, with Flower Alley’s tally of black type winners including five graded stakes winning daughters -Lilacs And Lace (G1 Ashland Stakes), My Wandy’s Girl (G2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap), Bouquet Booth (G3 Delta Princess Stakes), Princess Calla (G2 Western Cape Fillies Championship, G3 Prix Du Cap, G3 Umzimkhulu Stakes), and Bold Fortune (G2 WSB Ipi Tombe Challenge and G3 Yellowwood Handicap). The latter joins Princess Calla as a runner in Saturday’s Empress Club Stakes.

Flower Alley, who supplied G1 Kentucky Derby/G1 Preakness Stakes winning champion I’ll Have Another early in his stud career, has built up a good record in South Africa with his daughters including not only the aforementioned pair of Princess Calla and Bold Fortune, but also stakes winners Fayrooz and Santa Therse as well as this season’s talented three-year-olds Clafoutis, Evening Primrose and Perfect Witness.

A son of outstanding broodmare sire Distorted Humor, from the family of another in Lyphard, Flower Alley is also showing signs of becoming a top-class broodmare sire. He is already damsire of a pair of high-class three-year-olds in North America this year namely G1 Arkansas Derby winner Cyberknife and G3 Swale Stakes winner My Prankster, with Flower Alley also the damsire of G1 winners Lucky Lilac and Smooth Like Strait.

However, Princess Calla also owes clearly plenty of her ability to her talented dam, Princess Royal, a three-parts sister to dual Equus Champion Princess Victoria, with the latter, like Princess Calla’s dam, Princess Royal, sired by a son of Al Mufti.

Princess Royal, whose late champion sire Captain Al is enjoying increasing success as a broodmare sire, won four times, scoring from 1100 to 1200m, including the G2 Sceptre Stakes in 2016 (beating champion Carry On Alice in the process), and was also second in the 2015 G1 Allan Robertson Fillies Championship.

Princess Calla is not her dam’s only talented performer as Princess Royal also ranks as the dam of this season’s smart three-year-old Platinum Sky. A son of Silvano, Platinum Sky caught the eye when finishing third, to subsequent G1 WSB SA Derby winner Aragosta, in January’s G3 Sea Cottage Stakes.

Princess Royal and Princess Victoria were produced by the unraced Rakeen mare Platinum Princess, herself a half-sister to G3 Sun Casino Stakes winner Cup Of Grace as well as to the dam of G1 placed Umngeni Handicap victor Pray For Rain.

Princess Calla’s fifth dam, G1 ARC Railway Handicap winner Silver Liner, also made her mark in South Africa as the dam of champion, and multiple G1 winner, Petrava (by Imposing). The latter emulated her dam by producing her own champion daughter in the form of Hoeberg (by Maroof) as well as Merchants winner and champion South African sire Jallad.

The latter, a son of Blushing Groom, was South Africa’s Champion Sire of 2002, and sired G1 winners from distances ranging from 1160m (Vega Merchants) to 3200m (Jeppe’s Reef, Major Bluff Gold Cup).

Picture: Princess Calla (Wayne Marks).