Day At The Track

Jess Prior presented with J.C Caffyn Plate

07:14 PM 23 Nov 2015 NZDT
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Jess Prior accepting the JC Caffyn Plate from race sponsor Michael Brown.
Jess Prior accepting the JC Caffyn Plate from race sponsor Michael Brown.

When Jess Prior won the J.C Caffyn Plate driving the Blake Fitzpatrick-trained Cilantro at Tabcorp Park Menangle earlier this month, the 25-year-old reinswoman enjoyed the biggest win of her career.

Not only was the victory her first drive on the 1400 metre track but in winning the feature Prior became the first female driver to win the J.C Caffyn Plate (formerly known as the Michael Brown Planning Strategies Indigenous Drivers Invitational.)

Race sponsor Michael Brown took the opportunity to visit the Blayney Carnival Of Cups meeting on Sunday to make a special presentation to Prior.

"I think Jess was a little bit surprised with the special presentation at Blayney but she deserved it and what made it even more special was that there were some family members in attendance too," Brown said.

"I got the opportunity to present the previous winners of the Indigenous Drivers Invitational with their respective J.C Caffyn Plates the day Jess won it but obviously it was going to take some time to get the plate for Jess engraved with her name."

Brown is keen to see the J.C Caffyn Plate grow annually and will continue to support the race into the future.

"Going back a few years I remember talking with John Dumesny who was the boss of Menangle at the time and we discussed the idea of creating a race that could get bigger and bigger.

"A race like the Miracle Mile was born and grew from an idea and while the J.C Caffyn Plate is never going to rival the Miracle Mile I would like to see this race become an event that Indigenous Drivers can set their sights and aim at."

Prior is keen to defend her title next year and is looking forward to the opportunity.

"I told Michael I want to be part of it again next year, it was a big thrill to win it this year and it is something that I will never forget," Prior said.

"It was great to be involved in the race and to receive a framed J.C Caffyn Plate is something that I will treasure forever."

Greg Hayes

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