Jewel to sparkle in Sapphire
By Mandy Cottell
SYDNEY, April 11 AAP – The hoped-for clash between Atlantic Jewel and Sydney speedster Rain Affair won’t happen this weekend.
Connections of Atlantic Jewel decided against tackling the seasoned sprinters in the Group One TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday, instead opting to start her in the Group Two Sapphire Stakes over the same trip.
Trainer Mark Kavanagh said the call was made in the best interests of the filly who is unbeaten in five starts.
“We decided to bypass the weight-for-age race and take the cooler option,” Kavanagh said on Sydney’s Sky Sports Radio on Wednesday.
“It’s all to do with the horse. We don’t really want to give her a gutbuster first-up. She’s had an injury and we’re certainly aware of that.
“Those other guys in the weight-for-age race have had a couple of races this preparation and they’re tough and they’re hard and they’re fit and we’d just rather give her an easier option.”
Atlantic Jewel was the phenomenon of the spring, capping her campaign with emphatic victories in the Thousand Guineas and Wakeful Stakes.
She beat Mosheen by three lengths in the Guineas and that filly has subsequently returned to dominate the three-year-old middle-distance races, claiming the Australian and Randwick Guineas and the Vinery Stud Stakes this campaign.
Atlantic Jewel has not raced since suffering a mystery injury following her seven-length Wakeful win in October and Kavanagh has managed her comeback cautiously.
He said the filly, who will be making her Sydney debut, would obviously improve fitness-wise from Saturday but he also indicated she had done plenty of work in the right-handed direction.
“They’ve been very good to us at Flemington. We’ve done a fair bit of work with her in the Sydney direction,” Kavanagh said.
“She galloped there on Tuesday morning and she’s going okay.”
Atlantic Jewel was a prohibitive $1.50 favourite with TAB Sportsbet on Wednesday, ahead of the Gai Waterhouse-trained More Strawberries at $11 with the Darley pair of Parables ($14) and Celts ($17) next best.Headline: RACE:Jewel to sparkle in Sapphire
12 Apr 9:09 AM