2013 Cox Plate favourite Atlantic Jewel will be kept to her own kind this weekend when the triple Group 1 champion takes on a field of fellow mares in the Stocks Stakes 2013 on Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes Day.
Originally trainer Mark Kavanagh had the undefeated Fastnet Rock five-year-old dually nominated for the Moonee Valley meet entering her for both the $300,000 Group 1 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) as well as the $220,000 Group 2 Top Cut Stocks Stakes (1600m).
Having returned from a 16 month injury-enforced spell only a fortnight ago however to win the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) by an easy two and a half lengths, Kavanagh has opted for the easy option second-up for the $1.13 million earner.
“My logic in running against the mares is that it is a Group 2 race, it’s weight-for-age and it is against mares only,” Kavanagh told the Herald Sun.
“In the back of my mind after spending so much work nursing a horse back from a spell and an injury that had not raced in 70 weeks there is always the possibility, and I know it may be a little old fashioned, but there’s these things call second-up syndromes.
“If there was ever going to be a second up syndrome you would think it would be after 70 weeks.
“With that in mind we go towards a mare’s race where she is rated 19 or 20 above any other horse.”
With his Australian Cup winner Super Cool to fly the flag in the Dato, Kavanagh’s decision to run Atlantic Jewel in the Stocks Stakes has led to a small field for the mares’ only feature.
The champion mare will face just seven rivals jumping from an ideal barrier two draw with Michael Rodd to ride.
Outside of Atlantic Jewel who is sure to start odds-on favourite, the other two best rated in the Stocks Stakes this year are the Mick Price-trained Fibrillation (barrier eight) and Oasis Bloom (barrier three).
Group 3 winning Diatribe six-year-old Fibrillation was last seen running second in a mares, 1400m handicap at Caulfield two weeks ago which was her first run for her new trainer since being transferred from Tim Martin’s care.
Oasis Bloom meanwhile needs to improve on her recent form to be competitive on Saturday.
Her opening two runs for the new season were both disappointing including her ninth behind Atlantic Jewel’s three-quarter sister Commanding Jewel in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington last weekend.
A close fourth to Appearance in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) last Melbourne Cup Carnival, Oasis Bloom is expected to improve when she gets up to the mile the way she bounced back in this race 12 months ago.
She contested the same two season openers last spring when 7th in the Cockram Stakes, the same place she managed when resuming this year, and a Let’s Elope 10th before winning the Stocks Stakes over Spirit Song.
The only other last start winner in the mix aside from Atlantic Jewel meanwhile is then Darren Weir’s Bec Said No Credit after their fourth on the trot.
Weir will also be represented by the in-form Ava’s Delight in barrier four with Luke Nolen to ride.
Rounding out the field are then Oriental Ruby with the rails run, Bonnie Nuit and Keyarna Blue.
See below for the complete Stocks Stakes 2013 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2013 Stocks Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Race 4 – 2:10pm (AEST) – 14/09/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||11111x11x1||ATLANTIC JEWEL||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||2||57kg||117|
|2||03420054×2||FIBRILLATION||Mick Price||Glen Boss||8||57kg||97|
|3||1x70124x79||OASIS BLOOM||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Steven Arnold||3||57kg||98|
|4||5124131×35||ORIENTAL RUBY||Gerard Moloney||Nicholas Hall||1||57kg||89|
|5||6×90931105||BONNE NUIT||Barry Fox||Ms Katelyn Mallyon (a)||6||57kg||84|
|6||1×78421223||AVA’S DELIGHT||Darren Weir||Luke Nolen||4||56.5kg||83|
|7||6203444111||BEC SAID NO CREDIT||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||7||56.5kg||88|
|8||24x114x9||KEYARNA BLUE (NZ)||Pat Hyland||Michael Walker||5||56.5kg||73|