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An eleventh-hour Cox Plate bid for super impressive filly Atlantic Jewel has been officially taken off the table, but the last-start Thousand Guineas conqueror will race on this spring with the 2011 Crown Oaks named as her new grand final.
Mark Kavanagh’s superlative Fastnet Rock three-year-old Atlantic Jewel blew the competition away with ease this week when taking her career record to four wins from as many starts with a blistering three length victory in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m).
The Thousand Guineas was her first start over the mile and against group company and she showed was far superior to the other three-year-old fillies getting around this season.
Talks of a possible clash with super colt Helmet in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on Saturday week begun to circulate, but with Kavanagh pushing his belief that she was still a preparation away from such a test, Atlantic Jewel will instead be aimed at the $1 million Group 1 VRC Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on November 3 during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
In the latest Crown Oaks 2011 betting markets at Luxbet Atlantic Jewel is the odds-on favourite at a quote of $1.90.
The next shortest-priced filly in the Crown Oaks odds is Thousand Guineas runner-up Mosheen paying $4.60.
Connections have confirmed Atlantic Jewel will head towards the Oaks via the traditional path with her next-up run scheduled as the $300,000 Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
“Mark (Kavanagh) wants to go to the Wakeful and then the Oaks,” Coolmore’s Australian racing manager Tom Magnier said.
“He’s happy with the way she’s pulled up and he’s happy to keep going down that track.
“Mark wasn’t very keen to go to the Cox Plate and he’s the man who knows the horse better than anyone.
“We always leave it up to the trainer and that’s what he wants to do.”
Twelve months ago Michael Moroney’s then spruik filly Brazilian Pulse took out the Wakeful Stakes – Crown Oaks double and Atlantic Jewel will look to do the same again this year.
While stepping up to the 2500 metres of the Crown Oaks classic is a big assignment for such a lightly-raced filly, being by Group 1 winner Fastnet Rock out of Zabeel mare Regard, Atlantic Jewel’s breeding suggests that she should make the trip no problems.
“She’s out of a Zabeel mare so that indicates she could go to the distances,” Manighar said.
“Looking at her on type, in time that’s what she’ll be able to do.
“Mark is the man who knows and he thinks she’ll be able to do it and that’s good enough for me.”
Crown Oaks glory is still a way off, however, with Kavanagh first focusing on winning the 2011 Caulfield Cup with December Draw on Saturday.
Despite being untested at the 2400 metres, crack import December Draw is the easing $2.60 favourite in the Luxbet Caulfield Cup markets.
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