Pride of Jenni did something last week that hasn’t been achieved in nearly a quarter of a century – record a Group One double during Melbourne Cup Week – and breeders Brent and Cherry Taylor of Trelawney Stud couldn’t be prouder.
Rogan Josh was the last horse to record the feat with his Mackinnon Stakes – Melbourne Cup double in 1999, with Empire Rose scoring the same double 11 years prior.
It was only fitting then for Pride Of Jenni to kick-off her Group One double with victory in the Gr.1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Derby Day following a daring front-running ride from Declan Bates. The pair adopted similar tactics seven days later in the Gr.1 Champions Mile (1600m) to etch their name in the history books.
“It is going to be hard to replicate that given the traditional path Rogan Josh and Empire Rose was the Mackinnon into the Cup, which has disappeared,” Brent Taylor said.
“It was a fair old effort to run faster times one Saturday to the next, which is a brilliant training feat.”
The daring tactics adopted last week had proven costly before, however, the Taylors were delighted to see them finally pay off.
“We have seen her do this two or three times before and get nailed on the line. She was beaten in two other Group Ones in a similar sort of fashion where she has gone out and just got run over,” Taylor said.
“This time round Ciaron and David have got her in sparkling form and everyone was on the same page and she pulled their pants down twice in a row.
“When she has beaten the best milers in Australia with Mr Brightside, Fangirl, and Alligator Blood. They don’t get much better than those guys,” Cherry Taylor added.
Bred by the Taylors at their Cambridge farm, the decision was made to offer her for sale as a yearling in Australia, and while they weren’t overjoyed with the A$100,000 purchase price, they have been buoyed by her feats on the track in the resulting years.
“She was a really good-looking filly and we decided to take her across to the Classic Sale as that sale had been so successful the year before,” Brent Taylor said.
“We were happy to sell her but were disappointed with the price because we thought she was a really good filly.
“She is out of a really good race mare (Sancerre) who unfortunately didn’t represent that in her results. She went to Australia to run in the Oaks. We sent her up there and she won two races and was second favourite for the Oaks and turned out she couldn’t see out the trip. She turned out to be more of a sprinting mare.
“It is a family we have had for a long time and it is a family we have had a lot of success with. A lot of good fillies and mares have raced out of that family, and she is another one of that line that has been truly successful and we are proud of her.”
Pride Of Jenni is the first foal out of Sancerre, but the Taylors haven’t had the best of luck with the mare.
“She (Pride of Jenni) is a six-year-old, so we have had a bit of bad luck,” Taylor said. “We had an I Am Invincible that was sold for good money and he ended up being put down at the breakers after breaking a pedal bone. She (Sancerre) then lost her next foal, so she is a little way between drinks. Her next foal is a three-year-old called Awatere and then we have kept the (Per Incanto) filly.
“She is in-foal to Hello Youmzain. He is a stallion we invested in. He is a very good cut of a stallion, he represents that Danehill sire line that has done well down here.”
The Taylors are looking forward to New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sales next year where they are set to meet Pride Of Jenni’s owners.
“Tony and Lynne Ottobre are coming across to Karaka so we look forward to seeing them in New Zealand to try and find another one,” Brent Taylor said.
Meanwhile, the Taylors were celebrating more success over the weekend, with farm graduate Lim’s Kosciuszko winning Saturday’s S$1 million Singapore Gold Cup (2000m) at Kranji.
With the victory, the son of Kermadec entered his name in the history books, with no other horse winning Singapore feature races, regarded locally as Group Ones, over as wide a range of distances as Lim’s Kosciuszko’s 1200 to 2000m.
“He is just a superstar,” Cherry Taylor said. “To have done what he has done and to win at the top-level over all those different distances is huge.” - By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk