Saturday, July 20, 2024

‘Seriously, 30 lengths?’: Racing world in awe of ‘demolition job’ as ‘superstar’ mare emerges

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Pride Of Jenni produced one of the greatest performances ever witnessed on an Australian racecourse when winning the $5 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.

The six-year-old mare was expected to lead and set her rivals a task to run her down.

However, the horse and jockey Declan Bates set up a Secretariat-like lead down the back straight and he kept powering to the line to score an unbelievable victory.

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“We expected her to lead by a long way. But seriously, 30 lengths? This is unbelievable,” caller Darren Flindell said halfway through the race.

Just before the mare crossed the post, Flindell said: “My goodness … this is a demolition job.”

Declan Bates riding Pride of Jenni. Picture: Jeremy Ng/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

The win was Pride Of Jenni’s seventh from 29 starts and took her earnings to more than $8.5 million.

“That was all her today,” Bates said post-race.

“Over the last six months, the times I’ve ridden her we had a nice rhythm with each other and when I’d ask her to come back she’d come back a bit. Today, when the horse on the outside came to her, she grabbed the bit and she didn’t drop it at any point.

“I was actually concerned that we were doing a bit too much. To be honest, until we hit that line I wasn’t happy at all today until it was done. I couldn’t tell you what the sectionals were.

“Generally once we’re doing it nice and smoothly, I’m aware. Today, just knew we were going quicker than I wanted to so it was a matter of coming back, coming back, and she said ‘nah I’m going’. She knows better.

“It is amazing. Tony Ottobre has changed my life putting me on these horses. Just to be a part of this, you know, it is something special. It really is. I knew when I got out today she had a spring in her step and I was concerned that she was getting to the end of her prep. You can usually hear them coming and I was tempted to have a look back but I kept my eyes on the post.”

Declan Bates riding Pride of Jenni wins Race 8 Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Picture: Jeremy Ng/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Race favourite Via Sistina settled second last and ran home into second place with Mr Brightside, who sat second some 30-lengths off the leader at one point, finishing third just ahead of Cascadian.

It was a third Group 1 victory for Pride Of Jenni and it brought a second on Day 2 of The Championships for trainer Ciaron Maher after winning the Sydney Cup with Circle Of Fire.

This article originally appeared on and was reproduced with permission.

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