Trainer Mark Kavanagh hasn’t ruled at the possibility that his undefeated super mare Atlantic Jewel could set the pace in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield today.
The star studded weight for age field is clearly lacking a genuine pacemaker and Kavanagh wouldn’t be surprised if Michael Rodd let Atlantic Jewel roll to the front as she sets out to win her tenth consecutive race from as many starts.
“Leading is a possibility and an option. The final decision will be made on the track tomorrow and then we will see what transpires in the first 100m and then it will be up to Michael,” Kavanagh told the Herald Sun.
“Having said that I would be surprised if there wouldn’t be someone else who looks at the race and decides to push forward. Invariably when you think there’s no one to lead someone goes forward.
“If it’s a walk, trot and a canter then we’ll see what we do.”
Rodd agrees with Kavanagh that Atlantic Jewel could take up the running for the first time in her ten race start career, but will be prepared to handle what eventuates.
“I reckon someone will throw a spanner in the works but I’m prepared for that,” Rodd said.
“From barrier seven I can take my time if I want but I also know she could lead on her ear.”
Rodd is also mindful the Atlantic Jewel is facing a much tougher assignment than she tackled last week in winning the Group 2 $220,000 Top Cut Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley against the mares last week.
“I know these horses,” Rodd said.
“I’ve ridden and followed It’s A Dundeel around. He’s still probably got to do it in Melbourne but I know how good he is. He can really tear home.”
Atlantic Jewel is one of eleven Group 1 winners fronting up in the Underwood Stakes as well as Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune and classy English import Sea Moon.
Rodd has been aboard Atlantic Jewel during the week and said that she had pulled up in great condition following her easy win last Saturday.
“She worked that well on Wednesday morning, I can’t believe how well she is,” Rodd said.
Atlantic Jewel is still at odds on for today’s Underwood Stakes at $1.70 with It’s A Dundeel the nearest in the market order at $7.50 followed by Puissance De Lune at $9.
Sea Moon is expected to show some improvement and is marked at $14 with last start Group 1 winner Foreteller at $17.