Princess Tiffany primed for round two with Belle Of Montana
By Jonny Turner
Princess Tiffany is primed for redemption ahead of her battle with arch rival Belle Of Montana in the New Zealand Oaks at Addington on Friday.
Belle Of Montana took first points in the first round of their triple crown style showdown in last week’s Nevele R Fillies Final at Addington.
Princess Tiffany has two immediate chances for revenge in Friday night’s 2600m group 1 classic and the Harness Jewels, in two weeks time.
Princess Tiffany was left gasping for air when Belle Of Montana sprinted past her with a scintillating finish in last week’s $140,000 event.
The All Stars filly fought on for third, more than five lengths behind the runner up, Kayla Marie.
Trainer Mark Purdon, who prepares the Art Major filly with Natalie Rasmussen, admitted he was expecting more from Princess Tiffany.
However, after analysing the race replay, he saw merit in the performance.
“I was happy enough with her, when I reviewed the video.”
“It was a race when there was a lot of speed early and she was up there doing it.”
“Belle Of Montana and Kayla Marie came from way back in the running and I think the way the race was run it was sort of set up, a little bit, for the horses from behind.”
The good news for Princess Tiffany’s backers is that Purdon is expecting Princess Tiffany to quickly put that defeat behind her and be a serious winning chance in the New Zealand Oaks.
“We expected better from Princess Tiffany [last week], but I think she will probably be back to her old self for the Oaks.”
“But, just the same, she will need to be with the way the draws have fallen.”
“She is going to have to do some work in the middle stages.”
Princess Tiffany copped the worst draw of last week’s trifecta-makers and will start from barrier 3 on the second row.
Kayla Marie drew best in barrier 5, with Belle Of Montana outside her in barrier 6.
Purdon was impressed with Kayla Marie’s effort behind Belle Of Montana last week.
The three-year-old charged in to second placing and got within three-quarters of a length of the winner.
“She seems to be racing better than she was earlier in the season, so you would have to like her.”
Purdon said though he has a handy draw to work from with Kayla Marie, it does not necessarily mean he will be launching her off the gate.
“I am picking there will be a little bit of speed early in the race, we will just play it by ear and see what happens, she doesn’t really have to rush the gate.
The All Stars stable and Purdon’s brother, Barry, produced the first four horses home in last week’s Nevele R Fillies Series Final.
Betting markets suggest they will do the same this week with Belle Of Montana and Princess dominating punters’ interest.
Kayla Marie holds the third line of betting, ahead of the Barry Purdon trained Havtime.