Hopes of success in next month's Gr.1 Australian Cup were at a justifiable high for New Zealand owners Ray Coupland and John Bromley on Saturday after their talented racemare Princess Coup (Encosta de Lago x Stoneyfell Road by Sovereign Red) unleashed a powerful finish to win the Gr.2 St George Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
Princess Coup is on target for the Gr.1 Australian Cup
When called upon in the straight, the 2007 Gr.1 Kelt Capital winner produced a stunning turn of foot for rider Damien Oliver, eventually distancing the efforts of runner up Sirmione by ½ a length at the line.
The Matamata mare is now widely reported as being the one to beat for the Gr.1 $1 million 2000m feature at Caulfield.
New Zealand trainer Mark Walker said Princess Coup had a minimal break after finishing 13th in last year's Melbourne Cup but had trained on well since her first-up fourth to Shinzig in the Group One CF Orr Stakes (1400m) on February 9.
"It is very pleasing," Walker said. "We are building towards the Australian Cup and it looks like we are well on target."Acting on behalf of Coupland and Bromley, Princess Coup was originally purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis for $A260, 000 in the winter of 2004.
The outstanding racemare has long since rewarded this purchase, achieving ten wins and seven placings from her 25 career starts to date, along with attaining title honours as the 2006/07 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year.
The Big G