Matthew Dunn’s emerging filly Hidden Jewel outclassed her rivals at Eagle Farm for the second time this month over the weekend, the lightly-raced three-year-old earning a possible shot at Group 1 glory in the Queensland Oaks 2012 during next year’s Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
The daughter of Hidden Dragon, prepared in Murwillumbah by Dunn, broke her maiden status on November 1 at Eagle Farm at just her second career start when overcoming a horror barrier 14 of 14 draw and a hefty 58kg to salute by two lengths in the XXXX Gold Fillies Maiden (1300m).
She returned to the track on Saturday and proved that her last-start effort was no fluke, Hidden Jewel again overcoming the ‘visitor’s draw’, barrier 15 of 15, to put a minimum one and three quarter lengths on her rivals in the Grace Construction Production Handicap (1500m).
It was a brilliant effort by the up-and-comer who faced an open field with Ryan Wiggins aboard for the first time.
“Up until she had her first start she hadn’t shown a lot on the track,” Dunn said.
“But I galloped her on Tuesday against an older horse and she worked sensationally.”
Hidden Jewel perhaps should be unbeaten, her only loss to date being her close third to Crazy Mamma on debut at the Gold Coast on October 15 when racing on a Heavy (10) track.
Her obvious ability has Dunn looking towards the Brisbane Winter Carnival riches, with a grand final goal of the $400,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (400m) at Eagle Farm on June 2, 2012.
“Another win this campaign will be a big boost for her ratings and then she can go for a spell before coming back for the winter,” Dunn said.
“It would be nice to think she could run a Queensland Oaks trip and I’m sure she’ll easily get 1600 metres.
“She’s been running on very strongly at the end of her races so maybe she’ll get 2400 metres.”
Wiggins agreed that Hidden Jewel had the makings of a genuine Group race contender, and that one more win this prep would be enough to see her earn a 2012 Queensland Oaks start.
“She’s a real nice filly and I never had to pull the stick on her at any stage,” he said.
“She needs to win another race this campaign to put her higher up the ratings for the winter and the (Queensland) Oaks would be a nice race for her.
“She let down like a really good horse and she’s got a very big future and looks to be well above average.”
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