Atlantic Jewel didn’t just steal the show at Flemington on Derby Day, she pinched the entire spring carnival – Black Caviar and all.
In a season that has produced a potential champion or two, Atlantic Jewel showed with her win in the Group Two Wakeful Stakes (2000m) that she might just be the best of the lot.
Just as Black Caviar had done on Cox Plate day a week earlier, Atlantic Jewel was the guest star who upstaged the leading players.
Derby Day is supposed to be all about building Melbourne Cup intrigue and unearthing a colt who will enhance the breed.
But this one was about a filly who is already fully enhanced.
In the Wakeful she proved she could stick on a bit as well as sprint.
And on Thursday she seems bound to show she can stay by making it six starts for six wins in the VRC Oaks (2500m).
Atlantic Jewel is still some way behind Black Caviar as far as their records are concerned.
The older mare has won 15-from-15 and will almost certainly add one more to that next Saturday, but a good middle-distance horse tends to capture the imagination more than a sprinter can.
And Atlantic Jewel did that with her seven-length win in the Wakeful.
“That was a bit arrogant,” her trainer Mark Kavanagh said.
“But it was pretty good.”
Atlantic Jewel didn’t have everything her own way either.
She had to come from near last, she raced wide for 1000m and she had some handy fillies ahead of her with 400m to run.
But she destroyed them.
For her owners, a syndicate led by the Irish-based Coolmore Stud, it was the second successive Derby Day on which the numbers would have been spinning as they watched a race.
On the same day 12 months ago they witnessed the Mackinnon Stakes win of So You Think, a horse for whom they were about to pay $25 million for a 50 per cent share.
In the Wakeful they watched a filly that is already theirs, already as good as So You Think and already one of Australia’s most valuable horses.