Mike Moon: Nother Russia is the 16-10 opening favourite for the R1-million HSH Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes (Grade 1) over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday.
The five-year-old Mike de Kock-trained mare turned in a brilliant performance in defeat last time out, giving South Africa’s top horse, Legal Eagle, a fright in the Grade 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes over the same course and distance.
Allied to a No 1 draw, that makes Nother Russia a worthy name at the top the boards for this prestigious clash of the female “milers”.
Nother Russia’s stablemate – and sharing the same Mauritzfontein silks – Cascapedia is next in the betting at 33-10. The Irish-bred filly by High Chaparral has five victories from six starts and is clearly destined for very big things. Callan Murray rides her and the only negative is that she hasn’t been to the races since January 7.
At 5-1 are Cape raiders Silvan Star, from the Glen Kotzen yard, and Gimme Six, trained by Justin Snaith. The former got the better of both Nother Russia and Gimme Six recently, but both beaten horses will have improved for that outing.
These four horses dominate the early betting, with the next on offer being Orchid Island and Folk Dance at a distant 14-1.
Betting for the R1-million HSH Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes (Grade 1) over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday:
16-10 Nother Russia; 33-10 Cascapedia; 5-1 Silvan Star, Gimme Six; 14-1 Orchid Island, Folk Dance; 16-1 Al Danza, Simply Royal; 20-1 Safe Harbour; 25-1 Tahini, She’s A Giver; 28-1 Fish River; 33-1 Heaps Of Fun.