The real Atlantic Jewel was back on show at Caulfield today doing it easy to win the 2013 Caulfield Stakes, proving the horse to beat in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in a fortnight at Moonee Valley.
Mark Kavanagh’s superstar daughter of Fastnet Rock was having just her 11th start today despite being a five-year-old after spending over a year sidelined with a tendon injury.
She came back in awesome style however back in August winning her third Group 1 in the Memsie Stakes.
Things didn’t go her way last start though when crack Kiwi horse It’s A Dundeel nudged her out by a nose in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
There were then some doubts she could bounce back going up to the 2000m in today’s $400,000 Group 1 Caulfield Stakes.
She proved there should have been zero concerns however flying home on a firmer track than the Slow (6) she had for the Underwood to become a four-time Group 1 champion.
“Everybody wants a horse like this,” Kavanagh said on TVN post-win.
“On a dry track today, there were certain things the other day that didn’t go her way.
“She’s back to her best today.”
Ridden back off the cantering pace, Atlantic Jewel was settled into fourth by jockey Michael Rodd who knew that’s where she needed to be, stalking them.
“We had to make sure she ran out the 2000 (meters) strong,” Rodd said.
“She’s taken a lot of improvement from the Underwood….a lot more relaxed.
“It was really good she could relax.”
They were single file along the rails in the Caulfield Stakes up until the straight with Spacecraft and Massiyn up front.
Atlantic Jewel’s stablemate Super Cool was then third just ahead of her with the Chris Waller-trained Foreteller the last in running.
With 600m left to travel Atlantic Jewel was still seven off them but Rodd never panicked and on cornering she quickly closed the gap.
She went past Super Cool like he wasn’t even there, the Australian Cup winner trying to go up with her, kicking away to win easily.
On the line she had four lengths to spare over Foreteller who was good running past Super Cool on the straight to snare second.
“I thought it might be a bit of a tactical nightmare (today) but it just went to script,” a relieved Kavanagh said.
“She just left them behind like we know she can so it was a nice effort.”
After that commanding effort Atlantic Jewel is likely to be odds-on again for the 2013 Cox Plate on October 26.
While never too confident, Kavanagh said he was definitely happy with the mare’s condition for her attempt to become the first mare in 71 years to win the Caulfield Stakes – Cox Plate double, the last being Tranquil Star back in 1942.
“I’m quite happy where she is right now, I’m more than happy right now,” he said.
“She’s unbeaten at 2000m now isn’t she.
“She’ll be right up now, she’ll be spot on for the Cox Plate….certainly exciting times.
“I’ve got the good hand in my pock right now.”
Rodd agreed that Atlantic Jewel was looking super fit for her Cox Plate bid and that she was the one to beat despite the hoodoos shadowing her attempt.
“She’s got to be hard fit for Cox Plate Day and that’s just perfect,” he said.
As for whether he would bother backing Super Cool up in the Cox Plate too after today’s effort Kavanagh said anything could happen.
“She’s left him behind, and he’s done a good job, and that’s where they both sit,” he said.
“Anything can happen we’ll just have to wait and see.
“I’m more than happy with everything now, I’ll probably sleep tonight.”
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2013 Caulfield Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 6 – 12/10/2013
|1||6||ATLANTIC JEWEL||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||–||5||57kg||$1.30F|
|2||2||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||4L||4||59kg||$10|
|3||5||SUPER COOL||Mark Kavanagh||Glen Boss||5L||2||58kg||$5.50|
|4||4||MASSIYN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Hugh Bowman||13L||1||59kg||$61|
|5||3||SPACECRAFT||David Hayes||Chad Schofield (a)||16.25L||3||59kg||$61|
|–||1||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Brett Prebble||–||0||–||–|