Pride Of Jenni causes Empire Rose upset

Pride Of Jenni ridden by Declan Bates wins the Empire Rose Stakes at Flemington. (Photo by Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Declan Bates and Ciaron Maher & David Eustace have combined, with Pride Of Jenni (+1500) leading all the way to score in a dramatic edition of the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m).

It was an incredible sight as Declan Bates made the decision to cross from barrier 16; however, it proved a winning move, clocking some strong splits throughout the 1600m contest.

She continued to bound away from her rivals and pinched a break turning for home.

The daughter of Pride Of Dubai looked to be paddling at one stage, as Life Lessons (+2200) and particularly Atishu (+320) made strong inroads with 200m to run.

Pride Of Jenni had done enough in the end, finally managing to secure victory after so many times in the past utilizing these same front-running tactics.

2023 Empire Rose Stakes – Pride Of Jenni | T: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace | J: Declan Bates

Ciaron Maher was on course to discuss exactly that in his post-race assessment, acknowledging it was always the plan to lead despite the tricky barrier.

“She’s done it a few times now,” said Maher.

“ She was, not unlucky, Amelia’s Jewel was very good behind her at The Valley, the next run it took a fair bit out of her, brutally run, they broke a record and we just kept her ticking over and you’ve got to have a jockey that’s brave enough to do that.

“Tony and Lynn (Ottobre) put a lot into the game, they’ve had two runners there, to get a Group One, she’s knocked on the door that many times, absolutely fantastic.

“Dec (Bates), he’s got a great affinity with her. It was a daring ride but that’s the type of race she needs to run to run her best.”

Declan Bates was rapt with the effort of his mare and spoke to the front-running tactics paying dividends.

“How good? She won,” said Bates.

“We know how she runs, it’s a matter of just sort of executing that ride, it can be a bit of a balancing act, I was actually quite happy we drew the outside gate.

“It just meant I didn’t have to worry about anything to my outside and having dig up and hold them out, it was just a matter of letting her flow to the front nice and easy, she got there.

“I was a bit worried mid way, she wasn’t quite coming underneath me and relaxing her the way I taught and hoped, but she’s got such an engine, she can keep running.”

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