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After injury ruled her out of the spring, Leon Corsten’s Group 1 performing mare Commanding Jewel is a chance of returning for the 2014 Melbourne Festival of Racing.
Much like the career of her star three-quarter-sister Atlantic Jewel, the success of Commanding Jewel has been hampered by injury-related setbacks.
A $205,000 buy from the 2011 Magic Million Gold Coast Yearling Sales, the daughter of Commands from Zabeel mare Regard has still managed to win over $540,000 in prize money from her seven starts to date.
She’s won four of those and is best known for her three length romp over subsequent Crown Oaks champion Dear Demi in the 2012 Thousand Guineas.
Most recently Commanding Jewel was seen taking out the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 7 when ridden by Ben Melham for the first time.
Corstens then had to abandon plans to take her to the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield later that month due to an inflammation near hind leg.
He had hoped treatment to the hamstring could have her fit and ready to comeback for the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) in October however that wasn’t to be the case.
She subsequently injured her hoof, cutting it in a paddock accident in late September, causing more heartache for connections.
With her entire spring, including a grand final Cox Plate goal, shelved Corstens focus is now on an autumn return.
Whether Commanding Jewel will be right for that is something that should be known by Christmas time, the mare now back at Corstens’ Romsery stables to finalise her recovery.
She still has a cast on her hoof that is set to come off in mid-December.
Once that is off connections and Corstens can then make the call about whether she has one or two runs in the autumn ahead of another shot at the spring riches.
“The cast will come off in two to three weeks’ time and once that’s off we’ll be able to assess where we go with her; whether she’ll have a short autumn campaign or whether she’ll be missing until the spring,” part-owner Brad Spicer said told Racing Victoria this week.
“The vets are pretty hopeful everything’s fine and if we can get her back for some races in April or May that’d be great.
“But it’s pretty much up to the vets. Once they pull that cast off and if everything’s heeled up the way they want it and knitted well we could be looking at a mini-campaign in the autumn with a view to the spring. That’d be the best-case scenario.”
Spicer and some of the mare’s other owners visited Commanding Jewel at Corstens’ property on Thursday and were happy to see her making good progress.
“She’s not on any pain-killers or anything and she’s really bright and bubbly in her box,” he said.
“I think she’s just itching to get back out there again.”
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