Atlantic Jewel’s racing career is in jeopardy after an examination revealed a tendon injury yesterday.
The four-year-old mare underwent scans after appearing slightly lame during track work on Tuesday evening.
The scans revealed a problem with the lateral branch of the super flexor tendon just above her hoof in the pastern.
The injury has already ruled Atlantic Jewel out of the 2012 Cox Plate, for which she was the $4 betting favourite.
Trainer Mark Kavanagh was still reeling from the bad news when he spoke with media yesterday.
“It hasn’t been the best day of the spring,” Kavanagh said.
“Put it this way, I’m in a lot of trouble if things don’t get better.
“Sometimes things have to hit rock bottom before they come up.
“Hopefully we’ve reached that point.”
While Atlantic Jewel will most definitely miss the spring racing carnival, Kavanagh is yet to make a final decision on the future of the unbeaten racing star.
The trainer is confident that he could have her back to her best in time for next year’s autumn racing carnival, however, is already considering retiring her to stud immediately.
“She worked on Tuesday and she was a little lame on Tuesday night. This morning we scanned her and that was that,” he said.
“Where we sit right now is that we have all decided to sleep on it, let the dust settle for a few days and work out where we go.”
Atlantic Jewel captured the attention of the racing world during her seven career starts, in which she has remained unbeaten.
The Fastnet Rock mare can already boast four Group wins, including victory in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas and Group 1 All Aged Stakes.
Purchased for $320,000 at the 2010 Magic Million Yearling Sales at the Gold Coast by Coolmore Australia, Atlantic Jewel has already won more than $930,000 in prize money.