EUROPA Point (8-1) took her rivals by the scruff of their necks in Tuesday night’s Gr1 Empress Club Stakes over 1600m at Turffontein, drawing clear for a most convincing win in this R1 million event for fillies and mares.
Europa Point raced home 3.50-lengths clear of pacemaker Hidden Beauty, with accomplished Gr1 winners Happy Archer (third) and Dancewiththedevil (4th), further back. Anton Marcus, who’d brought Europa Point from four lengths off the pace with a sustained finishing run, was all smiles as they crossed the line.
He said after the race: “I came to ride JJ The Jet Plane and I was disappointed that he got beat, but I picked up the ride on Europa Point and this was a big win. It’s always nice to ride in Graded races for Mike de Kock, even if you ride the stable’s fourth choice. The pace was good tonight and it suited this filly.
Mike congratulated owner Mary Slack as well as Dr John McVeigh and Jehan Malherbe, who helped him to select the filly in the UK. He said: “Europa Point is six months behind the rest and the thing with her is that she keeps improving. She’s versatile, she’s won from 1400m to 2000m and she’s at her best around a mile. I was quietly confident about her chances tonight. It’s ridiculous to think that she started winning off a merit rating of 69.”
Mike added that Europa Point would be another valuable Grade 1 winning addition to the paddocks of Mary’s Wilgerbosdrift Stud and Mary herself sported an ear-to-ear smile, saying: “I wouldn’t miss this race for the world. Europa Point is remarkable. She gets on with it, she keeps on winning!”
Europa Point is a five-year-old chestnut mare by Rock Of Gibraltar from Gorband, by Woodman. She’s won her last five