Pride Of Jenni ready for G1 Australian Cup challenge

Ciaron Maher concedes he is stepping into unchartered waters with star mare Pride Of Jenni when she heads to the Australian Cup at Flemington.

It will be the mare’s second run at 2000m in a career spanning 27 starts when she tackles the final Group 1 race of Melbourne’s Autumn Carnival on Saturday.

Pride Of Jenni finished eighth in the JRA Plate at Randwick last April after setting a frantic early speed which earned jockey Regan Bayliss a Racing NSW stewards’ suspension.

Now Pride Of Jenni is a different horse, not as free going, having turned the corner with two Group 1 wins and an All-Star Mile victory.

“She’s had one crack at it before,” Maher said of the 2000m journey.

“She was on the back-up and is clearly in much better form now.

“She ran reasonably well considering how hard she went in that race, but I think she’ll run well in anything you put her in the form she is in now.

“It is a bit of a risk, but if you’re going to do it, now is the time to do it.”

Maher said The All-Star Mile was the autumn target for Pride Of Jenni and anything else would be a bonus on top.

But if Pride Of Jenni was to take that next step to 2000m on Saturday and be successful then the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick could be on the agenda.

Pride Of Jenni came through her All-Star Mile victory in excellent order and quickly recovered the weight lost, a really good sign Maher explained.

Mahar said Pride Of Jenni had a gallop on Monday and was likely to have a lighter piece of work later in the week after spending the majority of last week in recovery mode.

He said Pride Of Jenni’s ability to run at a high speed and sustain it was what made her so good.

“When you’re trying to build a race against her, it’s quite difficult,” Maher said.

“She’s a phenomenal horse really and when you see them race, those types of horses really make the race interesting.”

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