”None of us can get there, the horse will be the only Victorian there,” the trainer joked.
Princess Jenni’s participation in the race has been plagued by difficulties ever since it was decided to target the lucrative contest.
Brideoake was on tenterhooks about the prospect of his Bendigo Cup winner even making it to WA to run in the $400,000 cup on January 2, the 2400-metre group 2 handicap that is one of the top staying races of the year.
Hope was running out that he could get the mare west in time – only for a flight to become available at the last second.
Brideoake heard that he could get her transported at 9pm on Wednesday night, and the five-year-old daughter of High Chapparal was picked up at 3am on New Year’s Eve at her stable, managing to make the trip just before the WA government brought down the shutters for travelling Victorians.
”It’s bizzare what’s happening, but we have to be able to adapt. She got there on Thursday morning, travelled well and is doing well. I am happy with the way she is,” the trainer said.
”There is a horse of Bob Peters at the top of the weights called Truly Great, who it was said was going to be their horse for the Australian Cup, so you can see how highly he is regarded.
”He has won five of his last six starts, but we are getting four kilos from him and Princess Jenni is in good form.
”Her run at Flemington last time was good [when she ran second to Wentwood trying to give the winner six kilos] and she won the Bendigo Cup in late October beating Pondus, who ran well in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes during Cup week”.
Wentwood will look to give the form a boost on Friday in one of the feature races, the Bagot Handicap, on Flemington’s traditional New Year’s Day fixture.
But Brideoake will be aiming to thwart him there with another staying mare in Diamondsandbubbles, who is trying the 2800-metre trip for the first time.
”She would have to improve to win this but I have taken a punt on her because she’s very fit and is showing some decent staying prospects and with a lightweight she might be able to do just that,” he said.
”She is a half sister to High Emocean, who won the RN Ansett Classic at Mornington during the spring over 2400 metres on a heavy track, so we hope that the step up in trip might help her.”
Michael Lynch is The Age’s chief soccer reporter and also reports on motor sport and horseracing
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