Skip to main content

Another easy win for the best older female in the country, the Sean Tarry-trained Princess Calla (Flower Alley).


Sean Tarry scored his sixth Gr 1 this season at the Hollywoodbets Durban July day meeting and he also added a Gr 2 and a Gr 3 to his tally.

Princess Calla clinched the Equus Award for Old Females by downing her only rival for the award, Desert Miracle, in the Gr 1 Ridgemont Garden Province Stakes.
Mike de Kock must have had a feeling of deja vous watching Desert Miracle forlornly chasing Princess Calla in much the way she had in the Gr 1 SA Fillies Sprint.
Princess Calla showed she was probably a better racehorse than Tarry’s Captain Al stalwart of a few seasons ago, Celtic Sea.
De Kock’s confidence must have risen when he saw Princess Calla caught wide and appearing to be over-racing a touch in the early stages with Desert Miracle sitting behind her under the sublime hands of Christophe Soumillon.
However, unfortunately for Desert Miracle when Miss Cool was allowed to slot on to the rail by the rider of Macara, who left a gap between his mount and the leader, Princess Calla was able to go one horse width further in, although she was still without cover. This left Desert Miracle caught wide.
It also becomes clear on closer observation that whilst Princess Calla is throwing her head around a bit she is on a reasonably loose rein, so is not really over-racing.
It is not normal for a horse to be caught wide without cover and not wasting energy. but then again Richard Fourie is no ordinary jockey.
Princess Calla also showed in the straight she is no ordinary horse.
Fourie rode her hands and heels until the 200m mark by which stage she had hit the front.
Then, with a couple of cracks of the whip with each hand, she put to bed any threat that existed from Desert Miracle.
She had beaten the latter easing up by 3,20 lengths in the SA Fillies Sprint and this time Fourie was able to pose in the saddle as she cruised in by 1,80 lengths. 
Will she go for the Gr 1 Mercury Sprint?
If she does she will also be in line to add the Equus Champion Sprinter award to her CV having won three Gr 2’s and a Gr 1 over sprint distances this season.
Tarry’s star two-year-old filly Mrs Geriatrix also likely clinched an Equus Award on the day as she remained unbeaten after winning the Gr 2 Zulu Kingdom Golden Slipper in scintillating fashion.
Tarry’s recent big wins have all been with jockeys easing their mounts up.
In the Golden Slipper Richard Fourie made no use of the whip whatsoever and Mrs Geriatrix scampered in by 3,70 lengths.
The Vercingetorx filly’s five wins include a Gr 1, two Gr 2s and a Listed race from trips of 800m to 1400m and she gets better with every run.
Earlier, Tarry and Fourie had combined for an easy win on the promising staying prospect, the big Futura three-year-old gelding Future Pearl. He showed he loves cut in the ground when winning the Gr 2 DSTV Gold Vase over 2400m by 2,80 lengths. He had also won the Gr 3 WSB Gold Bowl in soft ground and by 3,25 lengths on that occasion.
However, Fourie said his Gold Cup chances depended on the handicappers assessment of the race (they have raised him six points).      
 Tarry has to date won six Gr 1s this season, eight Gr 2s, six Gr 3s and three Listed events.
He is lying second on the national trainers log and his strike rate of 15.96% is the highest in the top ten. 
There was also a reminder on Saturday of what is almost becoming a local adage, “Leave Tarry out of the exotics at your peril” as many quartets were knocked out by his outsider filly Bless My Stars finishing third in the big one, the Hollywoodbets Durban July.