Jenni lands knock-out blow in Bendigo Cup

Princess Jenni (NZ) (High Chaparral) has made a stunning return to form, landing the Gr.3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) on Wednesday in gallant fashion but is not nominated for the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) like several of her vanquished rivals.

The David Brideoake-trained galloper held off a fast-finishing Joseph O’Brien-trained Pondus, who flew home late but came up short.

Princess Jenni ($19) had been well beaten in all four starts this preparation leading into Wednesday’s race, but she relished the step out to 2400m with Jye McNeil on board.

The five-year-old mare is now likely to head towards the Gr.2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m).

“That’s possibly where we’re going to go,” Brideoake said.

“We just didn’t get enough mile-and-a-half work into her (to go to the Melbourne Cup). But there’s always next year.

“She’s such a good horse and, honestly, this preparation she hasn’t done anything wrong, she’s just had a series of (bad) gates and bits and pieces that didn’t allow us to get a result. But, today it is a good result.”

Raced by Tony and Lynn Ottobre, Princess Jenni is named after their late daughter Jenni, who succumbed to brain cancer in 2015.

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.

The Bendigo Cup victory adds to Princess Jenni’s black-type laden CV, which already features victories in the Gr.1 South Australian Oaks (2000m) and Gr.2 Stocks Stakes (1600m).

Fellow New Zealand-bred galloper Zebrowski (NZ) (Savabeel) finished fifth in the Bendigo Cup and remains 25th in order of entry for next week’s Melbourne Cup.

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