By Tony Megahey
Southern racing great Barbara Joseph frustratingly describes her latest prospect I’m A Jewel as “a problem child with unlimited potential” as the flying filly races at Albury’s TAB meeting on Monday in preference to Queanbeyan on Sunday.
Barbara has a hefty extra workload with a big team at the numerous regional meetings as her son and training partner Paul Jones, a former talented young ACT Rugby League player, is laid up after a second knee operation.
The team were astounded at the sizzling time recorded by the (I Am Invincible-Opaline) filly winning a maiden by a widening two lengths when resuming from a lengthy spell at the Wagga Wagga carnival last week.
I’m A Jewel’s 57.76 seconds was considerably faster than the class three winners on the day, and compared favourably with the 56.12 Wagga Wagga 1000m record set by Inside Fifty way back in January of 2006.
“We knew she’d run time the way she extended and the margin but I didn’t realise just how fast it was until we checked it out, but she's always shown that ability from the start,” Barbara enthused.
I'm A Jewel wins impressively first-up at Wagga Wagga on May 3
“We always had an opinion of her but she was short on brains. She’d do things wrong and mainly want to over-race.
“But again she’s only had the three starts. And the way she jumped and relaxed the other day and did it both ends, she’s ready to go on with it this prep.
“We need to give her more race experience this time in, and all going well on Monday we’ll take her to better grade at Nowra.
“We also accepted for Queanbeyan, but Albury looked the more suitable race and she’s drawn well.”
I’m A Jewel is ideally placed from barrier two in a Star Hotel Albury Class 1 (1000m) and weighted to win again.
Her 57.5 kgs is reduced by the 2.5kg claim for in-form stable apprentice Patrick Scorse so she carries the same weight from a dominant maiden win.
Scorse, who has rapidly out ridden his maximum claim this season and last, is in demand with five value chances on the day.
Veteran multiple Riverina premiership trainer Trevor Sutherland also offers value with runners throughout the seven events.
Albury was rated a soft 5 on Friday in overcast conditions with some rain in coastal regions.