Aussie Guide to the Jewels
By Adam Hamiton
AUSTRALIA has had just 12 Jewels runners in 11 years, but interest is so strong across the ditch we will add another five to the tally at Cambridge on Saturday.
And, surely, we will finally jag our first win after three second placings so far, including two with Mr Mojito and One Muscle Hill last year.
This is not just the strongest Aussie raid on the Jewels by numbers, but also by quality.
And leading the charge is brilliant Victorian three-year-old filly Shez All Rock, who already has the NSW, Victoria and, most recently, NZ Oaks in the bank.
Shez All Rock, courtesy of a nice front row draw, has been smashed from $1.80 into $1.35 on the Aussie TAB for her Jewels final.
ADAM HAMILTON ranks the six Aussie raiders in order:
- SHEZ ALL ROCK (Race 3): If she wasn’t already the Aussie “flagbearer”, she certainly is now after drawing gate five (comes into four if emergency doesn’t make the field). Further helped by main rivals Elle Mac (gate 12) and Bettor Joy (10) drawing the back. This filly showed terrific early speed to lead and win the Victoria Oaks. As long as she’s over her post NZ Oaks injury hiccup, she should stroll across to the front and win easily.
Can she win: Yes
- WOBELEE (Race 8): The hardest of the Aussie to assess. Amazing talent as his record shows, but he’s got some quirks and the big occasion, away from home and in front of a huge crowd must be a query. Blew them away after early mistake in NSW Trotters’ Derby last time, but query the quality of opposition. Draw no help over sprint trip. Nothing would surprise me with him, but if Winterfell does it all right and makes the most of the pole, it will take something out of this world for Wobelee to topple him.
Can he win? Honestly hard to say … maybe?
- PLATINUM REVOLUTION (Race 1): Strong, talented 2yo filly show should be primed and, crucially, the pole is a massive help. Sure to try and lead or sit behind leader and these don’t look a vintage crop of fillies. No surprise to see her run a heck of a race if makes full use of the draw around the right Cambridge track.
Can she win? Some hope. Rough chance for mine.
- DANCE CRAZE (Race 5): Love this young trotting mare, but it’s such a shame she’s drawn the back row (gate 10). Sparkling first-up win, out of former champion trotting mare La Coocaracha, in Australia’s top trotting barn and oozes feature race potential. Huge ask from the draw, but she’s got the talent to take advantage if any of the key players do things wrong.
Can she win? Rough chance best from draw.
- PETES BIG JIM (Race 6): Totally understand why so many were shocked he jagged an invite, but don’t let that disguise the facts he has plenty of talent. Shown glimpses (including a second in 1min52sec to College Chapel at Menangle in February). Turned plenty of heads with his 1min53.5sec mile trial win at Menangle last Tuesday. And, crucially, now in powerful Tritton barn. Mail is they will try for an all-the-way win from the pole. I’ll be surprised if he wins, but Shane Tritton says I shouldn’t be.
Can he win? Place best.