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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


WEDNESDAY: December 22, 2021: THE more they win, the better the price!

That old adage certainly rang true again at Warwick Farm today when the talented but obviously underrated filly Authentic Jewel made it four wins from her last five starts for Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Brad Widdup.

Despite taking a similar race at the same track a fortnight ago, Authentic Jewel (Jay Ford) amazingly got out in betting to start at nearly double figure odds ($9.50) – and her supporters couldn’t believe it!

Neither could her trainer.

“I knew she went up 4kg to 58kg, but met Quatenus (who finished third to Authentic Jewel on December 8) only 2kg worse,” Widdup said.

“I wasn’t worried about that at all as she is getting stronger all the time.

“In fact, I was more happier with the filly going into today’s race than before she won a fortnight ago.

“At worst, I thought she would be a clear second favorite. Her odds were surprising.”

Widdup has done a splendid job with the I Am Invincible filly, who fetched $650,000 as a Magic Millions yearling at the Gold Coast in January last year.

Great stable supporters BK Racing & Breeding and their racing manager Ben Vassallo switched Authentic Jewel to the trainer’s Hawkesbury barn earlier this year, having raced only once for leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller – and she performed well that day also.

The then two-year-old finished fourth to Enthaar in the Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick on October 3 last year at the beginning of the season.

Widdup has now started Authentic Jewel seven times for four wins; her only “failure” from four outings this time in work resulting from a trip to Melbourne to contest the Magic Millions 3 & 4YO Classic (1100m) at the Saturday metropolitan meeting at Ballarat on November 20.

Even though she ran last of nine that day, there were plausible excuses and her trainer took positives from the defeat.

“She reared at the start, and was awkward going the reverse way for the first time,” Widdup said.

“Her rider Jye McNeil eased up over the closing stages when he realised she wasn’t comfortable, and yet she was only five lengths from the winner.

“It could have been 35 lengths, but it wasn’t. A lot of punters obviously misread her run that day.”

Aurthentic Jewel went back to 1100m today (her win a fortnight ago was at 1000m) in the Benchmark 72 Handicap, and was never threatened after an early tussle for the lead.

She had no trouble holding out $2.50 favorite Quatenus and Twitch ($6) to lift her earnings to nearly $127,000 – with the promise of more to come.

“I’m not sure where we will head next, but I have no doubt she is up to Saturday grade in town,” Widdup said.

Authentic Jewel’s victory was Widdup’s 24th of the season, and edged him to within two of a career milestone of 200.

His worth to the Hawkesbury ranks can be gauged from the fact that he has prepared more than a third of the provincial track’s 66 winners so far this season.

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