Mike Moon
Horse racing correspondent
2 minute read
12 Apr 2022
3:44 pm

Final field for Empress Club Stakes

Mike Moon

The Grade 1 race, for fillies and mares at weight-for-age, will be run over 1600m on the Turffontein Standside track.

The top two runners in the betting, Princess Calla and Zarina, have drawn barriers No 2 and No 1 respectively for Saturday’s HSH Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes. Picture: Lo Chun Kit /Getty Images

The top two runners in the betting, Princess Calla and Zarina, have drawn barriers No 2 and No 1 respectively for Saturday’s HSH Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes.

The Grade 1 race, for fillies and mares at weight-for-age, will be run over 1600m on the Turffontein Standside track.

Princess Calla, now with trainer Ashley Fortune at the Vaal, will be ridden by Aldo Domeyer while Zarina, trained by Candice Bass-Robinson, has Keagan de Melo in the irons. Both horses are reported to be in good nick.

“We’ve had Princess Calla with us since the end of February,” said Fortune. “We haven’t given her a run because we’ve found the horses that have come up to Joburg from Cape Town have done really well with a six-week break into their first run.

“You give them the six weeks, you give them a good gallop and it provides a good foundation and good prep for the race for which they are being prepared.”

Mike de Kock will have Sparkling Water competing in the race and, though she has been running over further, she is very versatile, especially if all the recent rain makes the ground a lot more testing. S’manga Khumalo takes the ride.

Anton Marcus has accepted the ride on KwaZulu-Natal visitor She’s A Keeper for trainer Gareth van Zyl and she has to jump from barrier No 12 while Paul Peter, who has a high regard for three-year-old filly Sprinkles, admitted he was concerned about pulling No 11 draw.

Unfortunately, HSH Princess Charlene will not be able to attend Saturday’s meeting but her father, Mike Wittstock, says they are working hard to restore the Royal Race Day to its pre-Covid status.

“Last year we couldn’t have anybody at the course and this year we are allowed 2,000. But we still have a best-dressed competition and will continue to use the event to raise money for charity.”

Final field for the R1.25-million HSH Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes (Grade 1) over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday:

1 – 2 PRINCESS CALLA (A B Fortune) A Domeyer 60.0 – 121

2 – 1 ZARINA (C Bass-Robinson) K de Melo 60.0 – 119

3 – 12 SHE’S A KEEPER (G van Zyl (Jnr)) A Marcus 60.0 – 116

4 – 9 SPARKLING WATER (M F De Kock) S Khumalo 60.0 – 114

5 – 10 MOUNT LAUREL (W Whitehead) D Dillon 60.0 – 108

6 – 13 BOLD FORTUNE (S T Pettigrew) D De Gouveia 60.0 – 105

7 – 7 CHAT CHING (C Bass-Robinson) C Zackey 60.0 – 104

8 – 4 SENTBYDESTINY (C Dawson) G Lerena 60.0 – 103

9 – 5 PRETTY BETTY (C Dawson) L Mxothwa 60.0 – 100

10 – 3 ROUGE ALLURE (S Moffatt) D Schwarz 60.0 – 94

11 – 8 UNDER YOUR SPELL (S G Tarry) C Habib 57.5 – 114

12 – 11 SPRINKLES (P A Peter) W Kennedy 57.5 – 110

13 – 6 MARIGOLD HOTEL (S G Tarry) R Fourie 57.5 – 104

Same Trainer: (2,7) (8,9) (11,13)