G1 Empire Rose Win for Pride of Jenni
It was a red letter day for Pride of Dubai with his outstanding daughters Bella Nipotina (6m Pride of Dubai x Bella Orfana, by Star Witness) and Pride of Jenni (6m Pride of Dubai x Sancerre, by O'Reilly) putting him in the spotlight on Saturday, the former winning the $3million ATC Giga Kick Stakes at Rosehill and the latter scoring a dazzling front running win in the $1million Group I VRC Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Pride of Jenni had never won a stakes race, but a close Group I second in the ATC Coolmore Classic in the autumn to Espiona was enough to earn her some respect and warrant another crack at Group I glory.
Pride of Jenni likes to roll along in her races and Declan Bates did exactly that and was impossible to catch. She produced a career best performance turning into the straight with a big margin and fire in her heart. Proven G1 winning mare Atishu tried hard, but was not up the task finishing second beaten a length.
“We know how she runs, it's a matter of just sort of executing that ride, it can be a bit of a balancing act, I was actually quite happy we drew the outside gate, it just meant I didn't have to worry about anything to my outside and having dig up and hold them out, it was just a matter of letting her flow to the front nice and easy, she got there, I was a bit worried midway, she wasn't quite coming underneath me and relaxing her the way I thought and hoped, but she's got such an engine, she can keep running,” said Declan Bates.
"She breaks their heart, she deserves a Group One because she's run well in a lot of them, I'm just really happy for Tony and Lynn (Ottobre), they've been great supporters of me, it's a privilege to be riding their horses so a big thanks to them."
Pride of Jenni has the overall record of four wins and eight placings from 24 starts with prizemoney of $1.1million.
"Dec (Bates), he's got a great affinity with her. It was a daring ride but that's the type of race she needs to run to run her best,” said Ciaron Maher.
"I knew she had a good break and I knew she's very, very tough and her fitness levels were very high which they needed to be. Daring ride, just rapt it's paid off.
"It is obviously tough to do it that way but that is the best way and she got her opportunity today. She's fit and well and if any mare deserves it, she does."
A $100,000 Inglis Classic purchase from the Segenhoe Stud draft for Tony and Lynn Ottobre’s Cape Schanck Stud, Pride of Jenni was bred by Trelawney Stud and is the first foal of winning O’Reilly mare Sancerre, a daughter of Group I Queensland Oaks winner Vouvray.
Pride of Jenni is the 20th stakes-winner and third Group I winner for Pride of Dubai.