Trainer Mark Kavanagh has revealed that he is considering running glamour mare Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21.
Atlantic Jewel will have her second start, after returning from a sixteen month injury lay-off, in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday but isn’t expected to get a tough run against a field of mares that are all rated at least twenty points inferior to the triple Group 1 winner.
The Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) is the major 2013 Spring Racing Carnival goal for Atlantic Jewel and Kavanagh said he would not hesitate backing the five-year-old up next week if she needs the extra run to prepare for her spring ‘grand final’.
“Nothing’s out of the question at this stage and she may very well need another run after that on Saturday,” Kavanagh told Racing Victoria.
“But we’ve just got to see how she goes.
“We’ve taken the softer option, if it warrants things down the line then well and good, but the main thing we’ll be looking at is Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning how she pulls up.”
The Underwood Stakes has always been a key lead-up race to the Cox Plate and sixteen horses have taken out the Underwood Stakes/Cox Plate double.
So You Think (2010) and Ocean Park (2012) have both completed the double in recent years, while Kavanagh-trained Maldivian finished fourth behind Weekend Hussler in the 2008 Underwood Stakes before going on to win the Cox Plate at the end of his spring campaign.
The 2013 Underwood Stakes is set to be one of the most competitive in recent years, with Group 1 winners Foreteller, It’s A Dundeel, Beaten Up, Manighar, December Draw and Dear Demi all expected to contest the race.