Princess Jenni defeats Rondinella in the Gr.2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) Photo: Darryl Sherer
If Princess Jenni (NZ) (High Chaparral) wins the Gr.1 Toorak Handicap, a crack at the A$5 million Cox Plate could prove irresistible.
The David Brideoake-trained Gr.1 Australasian Oaks winner heads to Saturday’s Toorak (1600m) at Caulfield for the third start of her spring campaign on the back of a win in the Group Two Stocks Stakes for mares at The Valley.
The Toorak will be Princess Jenni’s first race outside fillies or mares
company but Brideoake expects the talented four-year-old can make her presence
felt in the capacity field with champion jockey Damien Oliver aboard.
“I thought she was very good at The Valley and she’s made good progress
from the run,” Brideoake said.
“I think she will run a very good race.”
Brideoake said the Toorak had been in the plans for Princess Jenni, who has
won five of her nine starts.
The trainer said he thought the Toorak provided a good lead-up to the Gr.1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) for fillies and mares at Flemington on November 2.
But the weight-for-age Cox Plate (2040m) a week earlier certainly remains on the radar with connections paying up at the third acceptance stage this week.
“It is a temptation because we did keep it live but we won’t make any
decision until seeing how we go on Saturday,” Brideoake said.
“All options are open until we see what happens on Saturday.
“We’ll probably make a decision on Sunday as to which way we go.
“If she was to go ahead and win we would have to look at the Cox Plate
Princess Jenni is unbeaten in two starts at The Valley, the home of the Cox Plate, in the Gr.3 Alexandra Stakes in March and last month’s Stocks Stakes.
The winner of the Toorak will also be eligible for a A$1 million bonus if they go on to win the Cox Plate.
In an open market, Princess Jenni was challenging for favouritism for the
Toorak on Thursday at $7, just behind Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes runner-up Age Of
Chivalry at $6.50.
The Chris Waller-trained Night’s Watch was also $7.