Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Connections of former Thousand Guineas winner Commanding Jewel have confirmed the Cox Plate 2014 as her major target this time in.
The Leon & Troy Corstens-trained daughter of Commands is currently nominated for both the $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) over the Randwick mile on October 4 and the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) under weight-for-age conditions at Moonee Valley on October 25.
But this week co-trainer Troy Corstens confirmed the latter was the confirmed target when speaking to the Racing Network on Tuesday, a race she pays $26 through Ladbrokes.com.au to win in their all-in Cox Plate odds.
A star three-year-old back in 2012 when defeating Dear Demi by three lengths in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield, injury forced Commanding Jewel to spend two stings of over 10 months on the sidelines following her Group 1 success.
The most recent of her breaks saw her miss nearly 12 months of racing from September last year through until August 30 this season.
Her last run before returning was a win in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m), a $200,000 mares-only race she contests again this weekend.
First-up the now five-year-old caught the eye at Caulfield when beaten only half a length to run third behind Gregers in the Group 3 W.W. Cockram Stakes (1200m).
She was blocked for a run near the turn there after settling midfield on the rail and ran on well over the final 100m in an effort she’s tipped to improve on this weekend at Flemington on Makybe Diva Stakes Day.
Shooting for back-to-back Let’s Elope Stakes wins, Commanding Jewel gets the chance to turn the tables on her last start conqueror with Cockram Stakes winner Gregers also in the mix this weekend.
It was her Cockram run however that prompted Corstens to lock-in the Cox Plate date.
“Dad (co-trainer, Leon Corstens) has been thinking about it for a while now, but we’ve decided to go that way with her,” he said.
“The way she finished off her race first-up makes me think she will run a strong 2040-metres of the Cox Plate.”
Following Saturday’s race Commanding Jewel will step up to elite level company for the $400,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 28.
“She will then run in the Toorak before going to the Cox Plate,” Corstens said.
The $400,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) runs back at Caulfield on Guineas Day, October 11, two weeks before the Cox Plate at the end of the month.
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