Atlantic Jewel strolled around Moonee Valley on Saturday to stretch her unbeaten record and stake a claim as Australia’s best racehorse.
Starting at Black Caviar-like odds of $1.06 in the Group Two Stocks Stakes (1600m), Atlantic Jewel never looked in danger as she coasted to her ninth win and moved one step closer to her ultimate goal of the Cox Plate for which she is already a clear-cut favourite.
The five-year-old wasn’t made to sweat as she ambled to the front coming to the home turn in the weight-for-age race for mares and went on to score by 2-1/2-lengths over last year’s winner Oasis Bloom with 1-3/4 lengths to Oriental Ruby in third.
Trainer Mark Kavanagh described the win as a track gallop and hasn’t ruled out backing the mare up in next Saturday’s Group One Underwood Stakes (1800m).
“That was just a little course proper gallop,” Kavanagh said.
“She’s certainly a special horse.”
Atlantic Jewel returned from 70 weeks out to win the Memsie Stakes first-up and Kavanagh took the easier option on Saturday of running her second-up against mares rather than in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes against all comers.
Both were Group Two races and Kavanagh said that decision was a “no-brainer”.
“You’ve got to look after the longevity of the horse,” Kavanagh said.
“We want to keep her coming back the races as much as we can and we want to keep her in good order.”
He said the daughter of Fastnet Rock still had improvement in her as she headed to Australasia’s weight-for-age championship next month.
“Her target is the Cox Plate. She’ll be ready that day,” he said.
Michael Rodd said Atlantic Jewel wins her races from the 600m mark when the pressure starts to go on but she still hasn’t changed gears.
“I think most people knew that would be the case today and that she was going to win like that,” he said.
“Today was an easy way to go with her but it’s not going to get any easier from now on in.”
Oasis Bloom led in the chasers and will head to the JRA Cup at Moonee Valley next.
Her trainer Peter Morgan will be happy for Atlantic Jewel not to be there.
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