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Commanding Jewel Too Good In Guineas

Commanding Jewel made amends for two recent defeats, in no uncertain fashion, with an outstanding performance to win the One Thousand Guineas.

At her two previous defeats she basically beat herself by reefing and pulling, failing to settle down at any stage, Damien Oliver made sure there was not going to be a repeat performance this time.

It was a great ride by Oliver, one of his best despite the pressures, and there has been plenty of those in the past week, he showed the qualities of a true professional, putting it all behind with only one thought in mind, winning.

Commanding Jewel began well as usual, this time she settled down better in the first half dozen, she had a charmed run to the turn, once the question was asked she responded immediately, the issue was never in doubt thereafter.

Commanding Jewel Custom

Commanding Jewel wins the 1000 Guineas

Punters had trouble sorting out a favourite, ignoring much of recent form, finally electing the Flemington trained filly, Balaclava Lady, as the preferred favourite.

The win of Commanding Jewel was a great success story for Leon Corstens, there were those that said she wouldn’t get a mile, he only smiled, he had other ideas.

That was the completion of this present campaign she is off to the paddock for a well earned break, the Autumn awaits her. 

C orstens and Oliver Custom

Leon Corstens with Damian Oliver




Betting Scandal

Owners are dodging Damien Oliver as if he had the plague, after revelations he had a bet of $10,000 on the winner of a race in which he rode another horse.

The irony of the alleged incident to place exactly two years ago, at Moonee Valley, in a race won by Miss Octopussy.

Oliver has done no wrong that we know of, it is simply an allegation that has to be proved, in the meantime his name has been blackened and he has no right of redress.

We are well aware that the Moonee Valley race is under investigation; surely it is not going to drag on in serial form like “Days Of Our Lives”

At this stage it is no more than innuendo, if the alleged incident did occur the informant, or the source of information, should have been revealed at the same time Oliver’s name was splurged over newspapers and television, he remains innocent until proven guilty.

Hawkes Playing His Cards Close To His Chest

John Hawkes is playing his cards close to his chest, he has until next Tuesday before he shows his hand, as to whether Guineas winner, All Too Hard, runs in the Cox Plate.

The Sydney based trainer has never been known to making rash statements and that is not likely to change.

All Too Hard is yet to run at Moonee Valley, the trainer may prefer the Derby at Flemington with its wide open spaces, plus he remains unbeaten at headquarters.

Brown To Do It Hard

Corey Brown declares he will have to take off three3 kg, which is seven pounds in the old, to ride Pierro in the Cox Plate; it’s still a big deal even though he has nine days to shed the weight.

The late Billy Cook, among the best jockeys in a star studded era, had to take off six pounds to ride Hydrogen in the 1941 Melbourne Cup, Cook was  a sorry figure when he returned to scale vowing he would never do it again.


All Too Hard Wins Guineas

The Hawkes family have never given up on All Too Hard, even if the punters had; it was a matter of whether he had brought his A game to Melbourne where he has an unblemished record.

It’s possible he may have left it here when he first went to Sydney, he was certainly on top of his game in winning the Caulfield Guineas in great style, beating the odds on favourite, Pierro, with Epaulette in third place.

The only other runner quoted under double figures, except the favourite, was Ashokan, he led for much of the race but was found wanting in the straight.

Alk Too Hard 6 Custom

All Too Hard defeating Pierro in the Guineas

 Pierro missed the start slightly; instead of being taken quietly he was rushed around the outside as if there was a prize to see who got to the hill first.

He was fully wound up, there was no place to go, it was obvious now he was going to be the sitting duck for anything running on, in this case, All Too Hard, there was little resistance to the challenge.

Nash Rawiller appeared uncomfortable and embarrassed when interviewed by the media, he could not offer any excuses for the favourite’s defeat and was keen to go back into the confines of the jockey’s room.

If Pierro has even a remote chance of winning the Cox Plate he will need to be ridden more quietly.  

Hawkes and Brown Custom

Dwayne Dunn flanked by Wayne and John Hawkes



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