By Tony Megahey
Muswellbrook’s accomplished Jan Bowen with speedster Emilette into Monday’s home track TAB meeting will be relieved to see the last, for the time being anyway, of It’s Me, a plunge favourite for the upcoming $1.3 million The Kosciuszko.
Twice recently at Royal Randwick, Jan contested TAB Highway races with her promising home-bred flyer who led and had the misfortune of striking one of the hottest prospects racing anywhere in It’s Me.
Emilette, a four-year-old Epaulette protege, finished a creditable third behind It’s Me and stablemate talent Pinnacle Prince. The sectionals on the day compared to Group class.
And It’s Me progressed big time to head the betting in country racing’s richest and most prestigious race.
Emilette and Jan are back in their element with home track nous and the hefty clout of prolific regional premiership riders Greg Ryan and Jeff Penza, with live chances throughout Monday’s seven-race TAB meeting.
Rarely led, Emilette a lightly raced four-year-old mare, is appetisingly placed from an inside draw contesting the 900m Two Rivers Wines Denman Dash with 58kg for Penza. Her form says if she can lead It’s Me and co in town, she should be high rolling in a far easier assignment.
Emilette’s third to It’s Me at headquarters has since proved to be one of the strongest Highway events on record and her subsequent failure to the Cavanough mare can be forgiven as she drew the extreme outside and was under pressure from the jump.
“Her speed is exciting especially when you’ve bred them, I had her dam Eminent Lady - the form around It’s Me makes us hard to beat for sure,” Jan enthused.
“She only knows one way to race, all that breeding line were winners for me. Unless there’s a smoky it in, Jeff (Penza) should have her in front.
“Up until now, we haven’t been able to draw or she’d have won a couple more. Likely we’ll be back for another Highway.”
Meanwhile, an in-depth program at the traditional Hunter track offers capacity fields throughout seven races and the presence of the region's strongest stables in Kris Lees, Brett Canavough and Rod Northman.
Jan, a Listed Carrington Stakes winner at Royal Randwick a decade ago with her best yet in Jest Crewsin’ can’t rival their numbers, but she certainly levels up with the compelling form of Emilette.
Jan also has prospects with consistent Lionsteps, disadvantaged by an extreme wide draw in the opening maiden event.
“This filly goes really well - busting to break through, she’ll win races for sure, but what can you do when you draw 18, near impossible out there.
“You’ve just got to hope for one of Greg’s (Ryan) best, I’ll just leave it to him.”
Ryan and Penza are the jockey’s to follow with numerous rides on form runners for the profile stables.
Muswellbrook is rated a soft 5 surface with a sunny 30 degrees forecast on raceday