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Maher Brimming With Pride as ‘Jenni’ Stars at Caulfield

Pride Of Jenni stamped herself one of the finest front-runners seen in Australia in modern times by streaking away to leave Mr Brightside in her wake in the AU$3.75 million (US$2,461,125, AU$1=US$0.66) All-Star Mile (G1) at Caulfield March 16.

The 6-year-old Pride Of Dubai  mare may now have the chance to try to emulate one of the best-known leaders of all time—Vo Rogue—in seeking a third elite-level win in the Australian Cup (G1) at Flemington March 30.

It was on this raceday last year that the Ciaron Maher-trained mare announced herself in the big time, surprising many with a narrow second in the Coolmore Classic (G1). Eight months later she showed she was no flash-in-the-pan when, under bold, pace-setting tactics from jockey Declan Bates, she won the Empire Rose Stakes (G1) on VRC Derby Day and, a week later, followed up that win with a victory in the Cantala Stakes (G1).

This breathtaking recent revelation did it again, but in even more ballistic style. Seeking to avenge her first-up second when collared late by Mr Brightside in the C.F. Orr Stakes (G1), Pride Of Jenni was speared to the front out wide from gate 6 by Bates, set a ferocious speed in the lead, and galloped to the turn in fearsome style.

From the 1,400 meters to the 400-meter mark, she set free-wheeling sectionals of :11.08, :11.19, :11.23, :11.22, and :11.85. By the home bend, she had simply run her 11 rivals ragged.

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Buffalo River, who usually leads but had no hope of that, was two lengths behind her in second at that point, and beaten. Mr Brightside, settled third-last by Craig Williams from barrier 11, found himself 10 lengths behind.

Driven out under the whip, Pride Of Jenni was still three lengths clear at the 100 meters as Mr Brightside reached second. While her furlong times inevitably faded, Pride Of Jenni was still two lengths clear on the line, notching her sixth career win from 27 starts, and lifting her earnings to more than AU$5 million. 

“She’s very, very special. You don’t get horses who can do that,” said Maher “It’s just stamina, isn’t it? Most horses have a 600-meter sprint, but she seems like she can do it for half a mile, or 1,000 meters. Unbelievable.

“Declan understands her. You’ve got to have the confidence to ride her like that.”

Pride Of Jenni wins the 2024 All Star Mile at Caulfield Racecourse<br>
ridden by Declan Bates and trained by Ciaron Maher
Photo: Mark Gatt

Pride Of Jenni’s rider Declan Bates and trainer Ciaron Maher

Pride Of Jenni was bought for just AU$100,000 (US$70,610) by owner Tony Ottobre’s Cape Schanck Stud from the Segenhoe Stud draft at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale of 2019.

Bred by New Zealand’s Trelawney Stud, she’s the first foal of four-time winning New Zealand dam Sancerre, a daughter of Queensland Oaks (G1) winner Vouvray.

Pride Of Jenni is one of four top-tier winners for Coolmore’s sire Pride Of Dubai, by Street Cry, with yesterday’s AU$2 million windfall set to move him to a career-high fifth on the Australian general sires’ table.

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