Glamour mare Atlantic Jewel has been scratched from the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday after scans confirmed that she suffered damaged to her offside tendon.
The Fastnet Rock mare was the clear favorite for the Cox Plate, after making a successful return to racing during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but her racing career is now very much in doubt.
Atlantic Jewel worked at Flemington on Tuesday morning and was found to be suffering from swelling in a flexor tendon in her off side foreleg and trainer Mark Kavanagh confirmed in a statement released this morning that scans showed the five-year-old had suffered tendon damage.
“Scans have just confirmed that there is damage in this tendon and therefore Atlantic Jewel will be scratched from Saturday’s Cox Plate,” Kavanagh said.
“At this stage she will be rested and the owners will make a decision on her future over the next few weeks.
“This is devastating news for the connections and the stable and as such they will not be available for further comment today.”
Kavanagh said that a decision on the future of Atlantic Jewel is yet to be made but leading Australian racing journalist Andrew Bensley has reported that the news coming out of Coolmore Stud, who own the mare, is that she will be retired to stud and not race again.
Atlantic Jewel burst onto the Australian racing scene during the 2011 Spring Racing Carnival; scoring three wins on the trot before recording dominant victories in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) and Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m).
The daughter of Fastnet Rock’s spring campaign was ended prematurely due to injury but she returned during the 2012 Autumn Racing Carnival and extended her undefeated streak with impressive wins in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) before suffering another injury.
Kavanagh attempted to get Atlantic Jewel ready for the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival and a tilt at the Cox Plate but she injured a tendon in her nearside foreleg, which put her racing career in doubt.
The leading trainer patiently nursed Atlantic Jewel back to full health and after sixteen months on the sidelines she returned to the races when she upstaged a strong field to win the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400) in comfortable fashion before going on to win the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) a fortnight later.
Atlantic Jewel suffered her first ever defeat when she was beaten by It’s A Dundeel in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) but returned to her best form in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and was a clear favourite in 2013 Cox Plate betting markets.
Atlantic Jewel’s regular Jockey Michael Rodd will now ride Lloyd Williams-owned Masked Marvel in the Cox Plate.