Greg Ryan in the saddle at Dubbo on Sunday. Photo: JOSH HEARDRACING
DUBBO jockey Greg Ryan continued his run of successes after guiding Are You Sure to a strong win in the Telstra Carnival of Cups Benchmark 65 Handicap over 1280m at Muswellbrook yesterday.
Are You Sure, a chestnut gelding, started at $3.30 and beat I’m In The Money ($10, Leanne Henry) by three-quarters of a length with Machiavelli third.
The winner is trained at Mudgee by Cameron Crockett and yesterday was resuming after a two month spell.
He was well drawn in barrier three and was given every chance by Ryan.
The same jockey was coming off a winning double at Dubbo on Sunday when he won the final two races on well-backed favourites.
Meanwhile, unbeaten filly Commanding Jewel has taken every step of her brief career so far with the confident ease of a potential superstar.
Stellar performances at her three public appearances, an impeccable pedigree and a dominating physical presence have earned her favouritism for the Group One Thousand Guineas (1600m) and the right to a place among the elite of her generation.
And according to trainer Leon Corstens, her reputation is likely to be further enhanced when she runs in the Group Three Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
“She’s done absolutely everything I’ve asked from her so far, there’s no reason why she won’t move up a notch on Saturday,” Corstens said.
Commanding Jewel had already attracted attention before announcing herself with a 12 length barrier trial win at Wangaratta on July 31.
She is a three-quarter sister to Atlantic Jewel, last year’s Thousand Guineas winner and Australia’s top three-year-old filly, that relationship alone earning her a price tag of $205,000 as a yearling.
Her barrier trial proved she could gallop, her debut win at Mildura two weeks later proved she could handle race conditions and her Moonee Valley victory 12 days after that proved she had classic potential.
It also encouraged Corstens to announce he would “throw her in at the deep end” at her next start.
That comes on Saturday and while the water isn’t as deep as it will be in next month’s Thousand Guineas, it is far from shallow.
“We have to find out, you can’t dodge them,” Corstens said.
Commanding Jewel is likely to meet last-start winners Bloomingdale Miss and Members Joy from the Robert Smerdon stable, the highly-rated Lady Of Harrods and Adelaide filly Molto Bene in the Prelude.
Corstens will also run his South Australian Derby winner Zabeelionaire at Caulfield on Saturday, the trainer preferring the Group One Underwood Stakes (1800m) to the Naturalism Stakes (2000m).
Also among the Underwood entries is Mawingo, a dismal last-start failure.
Trainer Anthony Freedman told stewards at Moonee Valley on Saturday, Mawingo had improved since that failure at Flemington and was likely race at Caulfield without blinkers.
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