Despite suffering her first career loss in an upset Underwood Stakes result over the weekend, Atlantic Jewel is in fine form and it is all systems go for her to back-up in the Caulfield Stakes 2013 next month according to her trainer Mark Kavanagh.
The triple Group 1 winning daughter of Fastnet Rock failed to handle a seven-day back up on Saturday when defeated as the odds-on favourite by star Kiwi galloper It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
It was a devastatingly close result with just a nose separating the Murray Baker-trained winner who took out their fifth Group 1 trophy and the previously undefeated Atlantic Jewel, and one that would have lost the five-year-old runner-up few fans.
While sad to her magic run of wins come to an end at start number 10, Kavangah was thrilled with his mare’s performance in the Underwood and said her earlier two soft returning runs off a long break were the reason for her loss.
“After 70 weeks off, and we can never forget that’s a long time to be away from racing, and then have wins at Moonee Valley and Caulfield that were fairly effortless, it meant that a fitter horse could beat her,” Kavanagh explained to WA Today.
“And on Saturday, she met a very much harder, fitter racehorse, and we probably lacked that little bit of hardness because of those two runs she wasn’t extended in.
“The 70 weeks out is always a factor and I expect some more improvement from her after that run, and that should bring her along nicely.
“I couldn’t be happier with her. She was game in defeat and I’m looking forward to her gaining some real improvement after a tough race like that.”
Kavanagh is now focused on Atlantic Jewel’s return to Caulfield on October 12 for the $400,000 Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m), formerly the Yalumba Stakes, where she will look to turn the tables on her last start conqueror It’s A Dundeel.
The Underwood loss also saw Atlantic Jewel ease in her price to take out her Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival grand final, the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26.
She was as short as $2.50 in Cox Plate betting last week but has now eased out to $3.30.
It’s A Dundeel meanwhile is fast catching up firming into the $3.80 second pick in the futures Cox Plate odds.
”His ultimate goal is the Cox Plate. He’s continued to improve, but I’m not forgetting that they were both very special horses that fought out the Underwood and I’m sure we’re in for some more tough battles,” Baker said of his High Chaparral four-year-old.
To get back on the Atlantic Jewel bandwagon in the Caulfield Stakes, and to check out the updated Cox Plate markets, head over to Ladbrokes.com.au and enjoy a punt with the country’s most trusted online bookmaker.