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Connections of last weekend’s Perth Cup winner Western Jewel are seriously considering an interstate campaign for the brilliant mare with the 2012 Adelaide Cup at Morphettville in March on the radar.
Jeune five-year-old Western Jewel, prepared by Grant Williams and owned by Bob Peters, boosted her career record to eight wins from 27 starts when backing up from an second successive ATA Handicap win to take out the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot on New Year’s Eve.
Ridden by apprentice hoop Kyra Yuill, who became the first female jockey to take out a Perth Cup and just the third apprentice hoop in history to do so, Western Jewel was ultra-impressive when overcoming gate 14 in the famous Perth feature to put two lengths on her closest rival God Has Spoken.
As yet unraced outside of WA, Western Jewel could this year be given her first interstate assignment with the $400,000 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) on March 12 an attractive option for the progressive stayer.
While Western Jewel has never been tested further than 2400 metres, those involved in her preparation are convinced she could run a strong two miles should they go to the Adelaide Cup.
“The only times she has gone over 2400 metres are in the Perth Cup,” Peters said, Western Jewel having run fourth in the previous edition.
“She was really unlucky in her first one.”
Her pedigree just drips the two miles as well.
Her dam is a daughter of Sydney Cup winner Marooned, and while Our Millster may only ever have won up to 1800 metres, Western Jewel’s sire is the great British stallion, 1994 Melbourne Cup winner Jeune.
What path Western Jewel takes heading towards the Adelaide Cup is still very open, with Peters most concerned over the handicaps the now Group 2 winner will be allocated in features.
If she gets in well with the weights for some smaller Cup features of the autumn, then Western Jewel could race in something like the $130,000 Listed Bunbury Cup (2200m) on March 15 or the $100,000 Listed Pinjarra Cup (2300m) on April 1 and bypass the Adelaide Cup.
“There are not too many races which have suitable distances for her over the next six months,” Peters said.
“Much will depend on how many points she is penalised for winning the Cup.
“If she doesn’t get too harshly penalised then she may be able to compete in the Bunburry and Pinjarra Cups.”
Of course, the larger prize money on offer at Morphettville is always calling.
And Peters has answered to it a number of times before taking out races including the Group 1 Goodwood Handicap on two occasions with Centisle (1995) and Spectrum (1998) and the SA Oaks back in 1996 with his two-time elite level winner Miss Margaret.
Should she go to South Australia, Western Jewel would likely have a lead-up run in the $115,000 Group 3 Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) at Morphettville on March 3.
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