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Mare’s successful southern campaign may not be over yet

The free-going mare led all the way to win Saturday’s Listed Christchurch Casino Easter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton where two weeks ago she had claimed top honours in the Gr.3 South Island Breeders’ Stakes (1600m).
“We always planned to try and get both races and we left her down here with Les and Richard Didham so it’s a big thanks to them,” said trainer Nigel Auret, who bred and races La Fille En Jeu with his wife Adaire.
“There’s another race for her here in four weeks, which we might look but we will assess how she comes through this first.”
The race in question is the Listed Daphne Bannan Memorial Great Easter Stakes (1400m) on May 5.
La Fille En Jeu, who is by Mettre En Jeu who stood at the Aurets’ Letham Thoroughbreds operation until his recent passing, raced to a clear lead under jockey Lisa Allpress on Saturday.
“Lisa said she gave her a kick out of the gates and the mare took off and she was struggling to hold her,” Nigel Auret said.
La Fille En Jeu was out on her own on straightening and she had enough in reserve to hold off Tommy Tucker, who had won the last two editions of the race, and King Pin.
The other Listed feature on the Riccarton programme, the New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Stakes (1600m), provided a thrilling finish.
The Terri Rae-trained and Alysha Collett-ridden Respin prevailed by a nose from Beneficial with further noses back to Courte Zarindi and Greenpark Gem.
A daughter of Power, Respin is raced by former top conditioner Jim Gibbs and his wife Ann and her black type success came off a previous maiden victory at Ashburton

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