WHEN Jewel Melody surged towards the lead with some 800 metres to run in her Gold Tiara heat on Wednesday night, the plan in trainer-driver Bernie Hewitt's mind was to put her rivals to the sword.
That is exactly what she did.
Jewel Melody left her rivals in her wake, not only winning her heat of the two-year-old fillies series by a massive 26.5 metres at the Bathurst Paceway, but doing so in a hot 1:55.4 mile rate.
"If you were on Jewel Melody you got in the queue at the 400," exclaimed race caller Craig Easey.
Hewitt has enjoyed plenty of success at the Bathurst Paceway over the last 12 months, more winners having come from his Georges Plains stable than any other.
Success at Bathurst's annual Gold Crown Carnival is harder to come by given the prize money on offer and Group status of the big finals, but Jewel Melody's effort could hardly have been more emphatic.
"She's been working super and her form's really good, but she's a big girl and she's still learning," Hewitt said.
"I did have a bit of a look over my shoulder, I knew she was a fair way in front, I just wasn't sure how far.
"She did ease off there towards the line, but it was a good time."
Jewel Melody went into her heat of the two-year-old fillies heat as a $3 chance, having posted a pair of seconds at Bathurst and a third in the Group 2 Pink Bonnet at Menangle in the build up.
From barrier 10 she was some 15 metres off the pace early, but Hewitt soon had her heading up the outside brigade.
While $2.90 favourite Champagne Stride led the field into the back straight, by that time Jewel Melody was on the charge. There was no stopping her.
"Look at Jewel Melody, it's gone past them like they were standing still," Easey said as the Captaintreacherous x Our Sweet Melody filly hit the front with some 650 metres to go.
By the time she hit the turn, Hewitt's filly led by 15m and that margin only increased as she got home in a 29 seconds split.
"She was up and travelling and the leader, it had done a bit of work early. She was travelling really good and was just starting to monster the leader and I didn't want to fight her and wait up for the leader, I thought I may as well put it to the sword," Hewitt said.
"I didn't want to stop her travelling and she handled the leader and just ran away from them."
Jewel Melody was the fastest qualifier for the Group 1, $110,000 Gold Tiara Final, but she's not the only Hewitt filly who will be in action in the March 25 decider.
He also qualified Betting Jewel, who took out her 1,730m heat by a neck.
There will be a strong Bathurst presence with Mat Rue (Miss Exclusive), Call Me Millie (Nathan Hurst) and Meraki (Ashlee Grives) also qualifying runners for the Gold Tiara Final.
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