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  • John Curtis

THIS "JEWEL" IS SHINING BRIGHTLY


WEDNESDAY: December 8, 2021: BRAD Widdup, like many trainers and bloodstock agents, has been inspecting yearlings in the Hunter Valley ahead of the forthcoming new year’s sales.

And whilst finding another one as good as stable star Icebath is a difficult assignment, he at least has discovered a “jewel” in his barn.

Widdup returned to his Hawkesbury home late this afternoon just in time to watch on TV his three-year-old filly Authentic Jewel ($8.50) post her third win from her last four starts, in the closing race at Warwick Farm.

Jockey Jay Ford took full advantage of Authentic Jewel’s rails barrier to drive through and take up the running in the Benchmark 72 Handicap (1000m), and thereafter she was never headed.

She held out fancied pair Rubinocchi ($3.70) and Quatenus ($2.60 favorite) to clinch her second metropolitan success.

The beautifully-bred daughter of I Am Invincible and unraced Fastnet Rock mare Gold And Diamonds fetched $650,000 at last year’s Magic Millions yearling sale.

Authentic Jewel’s granddam Diamond Smile is by the great staying influence Zabeel, yet sprinting is where she is making a name for herself at present.

Authentic Jewel began her career with Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller, and raced only once for him; finishing fourth to Enthaar in the Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) against her own sex at Royal Randwick on October 3 last year.

From six subsequent starts for Widdup, she has won three – with the promise of more to come.

But her trainer is uncertain where he will head with her next.

“Authentic Jewel is going really well, and the 1000m is suiting her nicely in her current form,” Widdup said this evening.

“We’ll look for another suitable race for her, but I’ve got no doubt she will be even better next season when she strengthens more.”

Authentic Jewel got out to surprising odds considering there were excuses for her last-start defeat in the Magic Millions 3 & 4YO Classic (1100m) at the metropolitan meeting at Ballarat on November 20.

“She reared at the start and was awkward on the home turn going the reverse way,” Widdup said.

“Her rider Jye McNeil didn’t knock her around when he realised she was out of play and yet she was beaten only five lengths.

“She could have been beaten a lot more than that, so in the circumstances it wasn’t a bad run at all.”

Hawkesbury’s leading trainer has prepared 20 winners in just over the first four months of the season, and is bearing down on a career 200 (today’s success being his 194th).

“Things are going well, and it would be nice to get 50 winners again as we did a few seasons back,” he said.

“We’ve had a few nice triallers lately, and I’m looking forward to getting them to the races in the coming weeks.”

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