Exquisite Jewel (NZ) has enhanced her chances of a late-season trip to Brisbane with an unlucky second to Werther in the G2 Valachi Downs Championship (2100m) at Ellerslie.
The Lucky Unicorn filly gave her all but was impeded when Werther drifted out on a couple of occasions in the straight. Her connections decided not to proceed with an inquiry citing the one-length winning margin.
“She didn’t disgrace herself – she never does,” trainer Sue Walsh said. “I guess it’s still a possibility going across although the Queensland Oaks is at Doomben this year, not Eagle Farm, and it’s over 2200m not 2400m.
“But they are only three once. And she raced right-handed at Ellerslie which will help with Brisbane in mind.”
Exquisite Jewel (3f Lucky Unicorn – Game Duchess by Monjeu) was bred by Sir Patrick Hogan and is a half-sister to Mike Moroney’s Flemington stakes performer Nordic Duke (Viking Ruler). She had won at Hastings, Woodville and Wanganui before finishing fourth in the G1 NZ Oaks (2400m) and winning the G3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) last month.
“She’s as good as gold and is pretty tough,” Walsh declared. “A day after the Manawatu win she was out in her paddock bucking and kicking.”
Rock Diva, another daughter of Lucky Unicorn, was fourth home in last year’s Queensland Oaks and Derby and she claimed a deserved Group 1 in the Auckland Cup last month.
Lucky Unicorn is a stakes winning son of Redoute’s Choice and is standing his second season at Westbury Park Stud in WA this year.