Jenni in top shape for the All-Star Mile

The Ciaron Maher stable has taken a different autumn approach with Pride Of Jenni to the one it adopted in the spring which landed the mare back-to-back Group 1 wins.

Pride Of Jenni will be five weeks between races when she runs second-up in the $4 million All-Star Mile (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

The mare had five starts last spring and raced her way into peak fitness which culminated with Group 1 wins in the Empire Rose Stakes and Champions Mile during Melbourne Cup week.

Jack Turnbull, assistant trainer with Maher, said Pride Of Jenni would strip a fit racehorse on Saturday despite having only the one start in the lead up.

That outing was a brave second when nabbed on the line by Mr Brightside in the CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield who is set to oppose Pride Of Jenni again on Saturday.

“It has been a few weeks between runs on purpose,” Turnbull said.

“Physically we couldn’t be happier, her demeanour is right where we want it, and you can’t knock her form. She beat him (Mr Brightside) in the spring. She’s improving as she gets older and she’s nearing the peak of her powers.

“Naturally we will be forward, and we can be comfortable there, and we know she will be strong late, so it will be an interesting race.

“We know she’s going very well. She strips a bit fitter, and we’ve kept the work up to her in between and we’re pretty confident that she is ready to run a bold race.”

Turnbull said Pride Of Jenni had improved with age and maturity and placed a lot of emphasis on the training facilities at Cranbourne.

He said the different training options had helped Pride Of Jenni become a more relaxed galloper.

“She was very aggressive, 12 to 18 months ago, but as she’s getting older and getting more experience and more exposure she’s furnishing, both mentally and physically,” Turnbull said.

“She has improved, because you can’t sustain a gallop for that long, running those fractions and sectionals, but now she comes back to her rider, takes a breath, gets into a rhythm, and she can work off that.

“She’s a healthy horse and it’s a credit to her as she’s structurally very sound as you don’t get too many horses of her age that have a clean bill of health like she does.”

The Maher stable will also saddle Holymanz in Saturday’s race.

Turnbull said it was a credit to stable staff to reinvigorate Holymanz after the gelding was involved in a nasty fall in the Australian Guineas at Flemington12 months ago.

“Confidence usually gets knocked out of them with a fall like that, but he thankfully came out of it physically OK,” Turnbull said.

“He won the Coastal race at Geelong and that was the turning point. He had to win that or run well to warrant going over to New Zealand.

“He’s won nearly $500,000 in prize money, so to run in a $4 million weight-for-age race, is not to be sneezed at.

“The best case for him is they go stupid in front and Jenni underperforms and Mr Brightside doesn’t show up, because Holymanz will be there in the wings and has earned his place in the race.”

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