New Zealand-bred filly Princess Jenni produced a strong performance to land the Gr.3 Alexandra Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night at just her fourth career start.
Prepared by David Brideoake for Tony and Lynn Ottobre, Princess Jenni savaged the line late in the hands of Damien Oliver after coming from near the tail of the field.
“She is a lovely filly. I have always had a lot of time for her,” said Alex Woodhams, Assistant Trainer to David Brideoake.
“She has done everything right throughout her last prep and this prep and she put the writing on the wall when she won her maiden at Geelong convincingly.
“Olie (Damien Oliver) was desperate for the ride and he stuck with her and we mapped out this plan and it has come off.
“She had a couple of little issues along the way, nothing major, just some little mishaps and we had to scratch and missed a little bit of work and bits and pieces, but we thought her first-up performance was really solid considering where she was in her campaign.”
The Gr.3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 6 is the likely next target for Princess Jenni.
Winning owners Tony and Lynn Ottobre were on hand to celebrate the victory and honour their late daughter Jenni, who succumbed to brain cancer in 2015.
“We hope to keep her memory alive by naming her horses after her and this has been an absolute thrill,” Tony Ottobre said.
“It gives us something to look forward to, because when you lose a child it is pretty well devastating.
“Our horses give us hope and they give us comfort as well.
“It is great to see them run and especially when they win a Group race.
“I can’t thank David Brideoake, Alex Woodhams and Damien Oliver enough. There is also a very special couple back in New Zealand who bred the horse, Marg and Murray Hardy.
“We have kept in touch with them and they would be watching on TV over in New Zealand and they would be stoked as well.”
A graduate of the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale, Princess Jenni was a $120,000 purchase from the draft of Phoenix Park, who presented her on behalf of breeders Marg and Murray Hardy of the Sunlight Trust. – NZ Racing Desk