Commanding Jewel capped off her returned to racing with a tough win in the 2014 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington this afternoon.
Commanding Jewel won the Let’s Elope Stakes in impressive fashion last year, but she was sent to the spelling paddock prematurely after suffering an injury and was kept away from the races after suffering a nasty cut to her hoof.
Jockey Damien Oliver was caught wide on Commanding Jewel in the early stages of the race and elected to roll forward on the daughter of Commands, while Solicit and Gregers had an easy time of things in front.
Commanding Jewel had the edge over Solicit and Gregers when asked for an extra effort by Oliver and she held off a fast-finishing Dear Demi, who was blocked for a run at the 400 metre mark, to record back-to-back wins in the Group 2 event.
Oliver said after the race that everything did not go to plan in the early stages of the race, but he revealed that he was happy to push forward on the five-year-old because of the slow tempo in the early stages of the race.
“There were no holes to pop in one off and unfortunately I got caught three deep,” Oliver said.
“They were going very slow and they had the ones that I thought to beat in front of her, so she wasn’t in a bad position to pounce.
“It wasn’t ideal getting caught three deep, but she had a nice smooth run there and I don’t think that it is the worst place to be, a little bit wider, today.”
Co-trainer Leon Corstens revealed earlier in the week that the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley was the major 2014 Spring Racing Carnival goal for Commanding Jewel and he confirmed after the race that the stable will continue to follow that path.
Corstens said that the entire stable had put a great deal of time and effort into getting Commanding Jewel back to the races and said that he was thrilled that dedication had been rewarded with a Let’s Elope Stakes victory.
“They are very patient owners and most importantly the staff have done such a wonderful job with her,” Corstens said.
“There are so many people that go into a good horse and put so much work in and it is amazing that she has come out and done it like that.
“It was tough and go there for a little while; she had a nasty split on her hoof and a stack of work went into here, but when you get one this good it is obviously worthwhile.
“She needed to run like that today to really warrant pushing onto to a Cox Plate and it is really good to get that out of the way.”
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|1||1||COMMANDING JEWEL||Leon & Troy Corstens||Damien Oliver||–||7||59kg||$2.60F|
|2||2||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||Jim Cassidy||0.2L||5||58kg||$10|
|3||8||NAUTICAL||Nikki Burke||Mark Zahra||0.5L||6||55kg||$71|
|4||5||BONARIA||Pat Hyland||Michael Rodd||0.6L||8||58kg||$14|
|5||7||GIG||Shawn Mathrick||Craig Newitt||0.7L||10||55kg||$15|
|6||3||GREGERS||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Craig Williams||1.7L||3||58kg||$4|
|7||6||SOLICIT||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Chad Schofield||2.45L||2||58kg||$8|
|8||4||VIADANA (NZ)||Lance Noble||Craig Grylls||2.65L||4||58kg||$31|
|9||9||WINTA CHILLER||Ross Pecora||Glen Boss||2.85L||9||55kg||$81|
|10||10||LORNA MAY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||3.6L||1||55kg||$21|