Princess Calla (Picture: Chase Liebenberg)
There’s also a strong line-up for the Gr 2 Western Cape Fillies Championship and for the Cape Mile on the country course.
Mike Moon (The Citizen)
The presence of the 2023 Equus Horse of the Year Princess Calla and her popular stablemate Mrs Geriatrix is more than enough compensation for the extended delay of Cape Town racing returning to HQ at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth.
As the Cape Town feature season moves up through the gears, the storied Western Cape Fillies Championship (Grade 2) will be run at Hollywoodbets Durbanville on Saturday, along with the Cape Mile (Grade 3) and the Laisserfaire Stakes (Listed).
It makes for one of the most prestigious meetings staged at the country course in some time.
The transformed Hollywoodbets Kenilworth is due to return to action on 26 November with the Punters’ Cup – ahead of the main events at the height of summer.
Highveld master trainer Sean Tarry has taken a very powerful string down to the southern tip for the action – and none more potent than the two females on Saturday’s card.
Princess Calla returns to competition after a well-deserved three-month holiday, tackling a non-feature, the Turf Talk Syndicate Cape A Stakes over 1250m, and will be a warm order despite the hiatus.
In her glory season, she won six of eight starts over distances from 1000m to 1800m, in varying conditions, venues and states of readiness. It will take a brave soul to bet against her.
Mrs Geriatrix will be all the rage in the Western Cape Fillies Championship over 1400m.
She also carved a legend for herself last season, remaining unbeaten in five starts as a juvenile. The diminutive filly, owned by a boisterous syndicate of prominent racing women who are good value in the winner’s circle, made her return to the track as a three-year-old in last month’s Sales Cup at Turffontein – retaining her unblemished record with a narrow victory at odds of 1-4.
Mrs Geriatrix is as feisty as they come, but she will be tested by local up-and-coming sophomore fillies Winter Cloud and Double Grand Slam.
As charismatic as Tarry’s girls are, perhaps the most intriguing contest is the Cape Mile, where top-class performers like Trip Of Fortune, Pacaya, Waterberry Lane and Double Superlative continue their preps for the big stuff to come.