Cambridge trainer Fred Cornege has a stark warning for Pop Star Princess’ competitors in the Laser Electrical Tauranga 1400 on Wednesday, take on his mare at your peril.
The daughter of Makfi tends to race on-speed and Cornege said those tactics won’t change heading into Wednesday’s race, despite drawing the outside barrier in the six horse field.
“She’s got early pace and we’ll run her in her usual pattern and if anybody wants to take her on they will do so at their peril,” Cornege said.
“History will tell you that most, if not all, horses who have taken her on finish near last or last.”
The stakes-placed four-year old is heading into the race off an impressive runner-up performance behind Demonetization at Counties last month and Cornege has taken a lot of confidence from that run.
“It is a run that had a lot of merit in it because the horse that beat her is a half decent horse,” he said.
“There was only a lip between second and the winning run, so I’m happy.”
Cornege said he elected to bypass the Group 3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) with his mare last month and said he is pleased he chose to do so.
“We stayed away from the Concorde for a reason and tomorrow there’s two horses in the race that, for want of a better word, failed in the Concorde, so I think I pulled the right rein,” he said.
Pop Star Princess ran third in the Listed Counties Bowl (1100m) in November and Cornege said he is keen to add more black-type to his mare’s record in the coming months.
“We would like to get her up over a mile. In her rating band, 1400s are virtually non-existent, so we have got to look at Open 1400m races or step her up to a mile,” he said.
“The Windsor Park Stakes (Gr.2, 1600m) at Tauranga is something that we have got in our mind and it looks like she can handle a mile.
“Something even like the Te Aroha Breeders’ Stakes (Group 1, 1600m), which might be looking pretty high, is a possible option.”