Doubts about Commanding Jewel’s stamina will be put to the test in Saturday’s Toorak Handicap at Caulfield, a race set to define her spring.
A winner over 1600m as a three-year-old, the mare disappointed as an odds-on favourite over 1600m last start when she sat close to the speed in the six-horse field and finished third.
Trainer Troy Corstens confirmed she would be ridden more conservatively from a deep barrier in Saturday’s Group One race to give her every chance to run the distance.
“We’ve got no choice. We’re going to ride her cold and with cover. She’ll just go back,” Corstens said.
Her performance in the Toorak will determine the rest of Commanding Jewel’s spring.
“I suppose there is that little question mark whether she is just a sprinter, but we’re going to find that out on Saturday,” Corstens said.
Singapore-based Corey Brown takes the ride as he looks to win the race for the second time in three years after a 2012 victory on Solzhenitsyn.
Commanding Jewel has 56.5kg with international entry Guest Of Honour topweight with 58kg.
“Obviously she’s got a bit of weight so she’s going to have to contend with that,” Corstens said.
“But I think she’ll run really well.”
Trainer Colin Scott is also looking for Speediness to return to his best from an inside draw after the horse finished among the tailenders in the Rupert Clarke Stakes.
Hugh Bowman has his first ride on Speediness with Craig Williams partnering Arabian Gold who holds joint favouritism with Rupert Clarke winner Trust In A Gust.
Scott said Speediness felt the firm ground last start.
“He had a few little problems coming out of it but we’ve rectified them and he worked well (on Tuesday morning),” Scott said.