Pride Of Jenni too fast in the $4m All Star Mile

Teaming up with owner Tony Ottobre has changed the fortunes of former Irish jockey Declan Bates.

Two Group 1 wins in the spring aboard Pride Of Jenni have been added to on Saturday when the Ciaron Maher-trained mare led throughout to claim the $4 million All-Star Mile (1600m) at Caulfield.

“Tony, he has changed my life basically giving me this opportunity,” Bates said.

“To repay the faith and pull off the rides and execute them, it’s so satisfying.”

Working her way to the front by the time the first corner was reached, Pride Of Jenni ($3.90) kept the field rolling along, eventually holding off a late bid by $2 betting apps favourite Mr Brightside to score by two lengths with Cascadian ($9.50) a length away third.

Pride Of Jenni won the Empire Rose Stakes and the Champions Mile at Flemington last spring and said the mare had improved from those performances at Group 1 level in the autumn.

“We have so much faith in her,” Bates said.

“This prep, every time I’ve sat on her back, she has certainly improved from last spring.

“I didn’t want to say that out loud because of what she did last spring and not say that she might have come back better, but I think that is the case.

“She is doing it, sustaining a gallop, it’s so impressive.”

Maher said Pride Of Jenni was a rare find as she’s a horse that can sustain a sprint for longer than most horses.

He said her stamina was what made Pride Of Jenni the horse she is and that she might join his team for the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 30.

“She is quite special because you don’t get horses that can do that,” Maher said.

“Most horses have a 600-metre sprint but she seems like she can do it for half a mile or 1000 metres.

“She’s unbelievable.

“There are obviously options in Sydney (and) the Australian Cup.

“Tony has always been very keen to get her to 2000 metres. We were half contemplating a Cox Plate last year, so she’ll be hard to beat in whatever she goes in.”

Maher said there had been some conjecture as to how much speed there would be in Saturday’s race, but the trainer had full faith in Bates.

“He understands her, and you’ve got to have the confidence to ride her like that,” Maher said.

“I said, ‘don’t worry about that, you know the horse, trust yourself and the horse, just ride the race’ and he said, ‘I just want to be smooth’.

“He never rides her bad.”

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