Princess Tiffany wins the Grp1 Queensland Oaks

On Saturday night Princess Tiffany completed the huge achievement of winning four Oaks this season.

A feat rarely achieved by a 3-year-old filly, it all started with her winning the Group 1 $120,000 NSW Oaks at Menangle on the 2nd March, where she went forward to lead and dominated them completely, winning by 16.6m in a quick time of 2:49.1 (Mile Rate 1:53.4) for the 2400m distance. This Mile Rate over 2400m remarkably remains her career-best mile time.

Next it was the Group 1 $150,000 The Breeders Fasttrack New Zealand Oaks, at Addington, on the 17th May, where she came from the 2nd Row to sit back in the field, before getting into the race just inside the last lap and going to the front with about 600m to run and running them ragged over the final 400m to win the 2600m race in a time of 3:08.2, an impressive 1:56.4 Mile Rate and running home in 56.4 and 27.7, to win by 2¾ lengths.

Princess Tiffany then travelled to Queensland and after winning a 1660m trial in a slick 1:51.4 Mile Rate, she was to contest the Group 3 $31,600 2019 Egmont Park Stud South East Oaks, at Albion Park, on the 6th July. Once again starting from the 2nd Row, she obtained a great run through to be in the one-one early, before being left parked when Miss Streisand went to the lead, but stuck with her in a hard-fought battle to get up and win by just a half-neck. The time for the 2138m trip was 2:33.3, a Mile Rate of 1:55.4, with a very quick third quarter of the last mile down the back in 27.1 and closing in 28.1. This completed a great double for breeders and part-owners Braeden and Caroline Whitelock, whose son Sam had captained the Crusaders Super Rugby team to a championship win earlier in the night.

The next major assignment for Princess Tiffany was to come the following week, last Saturday (13th July), in the Group 1 $100,860 TAB Queensland Oaks, once again at Albion Park. She was sent out a red-hot favourite and duly obliged in excellent fashion, after being posted 3-wide early she pressed on to shoot to the lead with about 1600m to go and dominated the rest, doing it easily running home in 55.0 and 26.6 to win very comfortably by an 11.5 metre margin. The overall time for the 2138m journey was a slick 2:32.4, a Mile Rate of 1:54.7, with the quinella provided by another Breckon Farms-bred filly in Miss Streisand.

Princess Tiffany is by Art Major out of Dancing Diamonds, who is by Bettor’s Delight and was bred at Breckon Farms by the Whitelocks. She is raced on lease by Braeden and Caroline, together with Phil and Margaret Creighton and now has career statistics of 19 starts, 15 wins, 1 second and 2 thirds, for $707,384 in stake earnings. Amazingly, Braeden and Caroline also bred and owned the 2012 winner of the Queensland Oaks, O Baby.

Winning 15-from-19 is one thing, but for a 3-year-old filly to earn in excess of $700,000 is staggering and it may not have finished yet.

Princess Tiffany, in a rare move, is to this week (Saturday, 20th July) contest the Group 1 $100,860 Queensland Derby, against the boys. It is very rare indeed for a 3-year-old filly to go up against the boys in a Derby, but she has certainly proven she is very capable of beating most, if not all, of her opposition. The field remarkably contains seven New Zealand-breds amongst its 10-starters, including two that are still owned by Auckland-based Lincoln Farms, along with their racing partnerships, but Princess Tiffany’s greatest opposition is likely to come from two stablemates in Jesse Duke and the unbeaten Self Assured. Jesse Duke was recently sold by Jean Feiss and is destined to do his future racing in the USA, while Self Assured is owned by Jean and has won 5-from-5 in his career to date.

To make things a little more difficult, Princess Tiffany has again come up with a 2nd Row draw, this time the outside, over the 2680m distance and with Self Assured drawing well at No.4, the race is on.

Co-trainer Mark Purdon has conceded it was very rare for him to tackle a Derby with his best filly, an undertaking he hasn’t made since Adore Me ran second in the 2013 Northern Derby, at Alexandra Park. Mark said, “It’s not often we run our fillies against the boys, but this filly is up to it. If she didn’t have a setback, we’d have run her against the boys in the NZ Derby and I think she would have at least run second in that. She’s so strong and keeps reeling-off those quick times when she’s on the speed. She did that really easily the other night [winning the Queensland Oaks] and I think she’s back to that terrific NSW Oaks form.”

Self Assured was very impressive winning last week’s South East Derby, so now with a handy Front Row draw, he has been installed as the favourite for this week’s classic, but prior to the draw being made, Mark thought that Princess Tiffany was good enough to test and maybe even beat him. After the draws were made Mark commented, “I favour Self Assured now-because of the draw. It makes it a little easier for him and Jesse Duke and a little harder for Princess Tiffany. Reverse the draws and I would probably change my opinion”

If Princess Tiffany is able to complete the double of the Queensland 3-year-old features, she will be the first pacer to ever do so. The two classics have been run simultaneously since the inaugural Oaks was run in 1972, three years after the inception of the Derby, with another Kiwi-bred Oaxaca Lass being the only filly to win the Queensland Derby, when she took it out in 2002.

We wish all competitors in this year’s event, the very best of luck and especially to the Breckon Farms-bred Princess Tiffany and her connections.

After this big assignment, it is likely that she will conclude her season competing in a heat and then all going well the Group 1 $200,000 Breeders Crown Final on the 24th August, at Melton, in Victoria, where she will be defending her 2-year-old crown won last year.

Rob Carr