Sportingbet Cox Plate favourite Atlantic Jewel won’t take her place in the Group 1 $3m weight for age championship over 2040m at Moonee Valley on Saturday if trainer Mark Kavanagh deems the track conditions unsuitable.
Kavanagh is reluctant to run Atlantic Jewel on a rain affected track following her only defeat of her eleven career starts was on a slow track when beaten a nose by Kiwi star It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21.
With rain forecast for Melbourne during the week, Kavanagh is sending out an early warning that he would not risk Atlantic Jewel on a wet racing surface.
The Cox Plate is scheduled to be run as the last of ten races on Saturday which will follow eight races from the previous night’s racing which will feature the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m).
“I am saying that if the track conditions don’t suit, she will not be running,” Kavanagh told the Herald Sun.
“She ran on a slow in the Underwood and she went no good.”
“She won’t run if I’m not happy with the condition of the track.”
Atlantic Jewel was quick to bounce back to the winner’s circle after her Underwood Stakes defeat with an effortless win in the Group 1 $400,000 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 12 and reaffirmed her position at the head of the Cox Plate market order and is currently the $2.30 favourite.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente and her Underwood Stakes conqueror It’s A Dundeel share the second line of betting at $5 with the Darren Weir trained Puissance De Lune next in line at $7.50.
Waterhouse was quick to find a replacement for the suspended Damien Oliver, Blake Shinn has picked up the Cox Plate ride on Fiorente, and the connections of Puissance De Lune will also have to find a replacement rider after Glen Boss received a twelve meeting suspension for causing interference approaching the winning post the first time in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) which resulted in Glencadam Gold having to be severely checked.