Crowd favourite Atlantic Jewel hasn’t lost any admirers after being beaten for the first time when forced to lead in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Atlantic Jewel was denied her tenth straight win when beaten a short half head by classy New Zealand galloper It’s A Dundeel after Michael Rodd elected to set the pace when no other horse wanted to lead.
Rodd offered no excuses for the defeat saying that the mare will be better suited ridden of the pace and the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 is still in his sights.
“She will be better suited ridden stalking the speed, which we will get in the Cox Plate. I think she will improve a fair bit out of that,” Rodd told the Herald Sun.
Trainer Mark Kavanagh took Atlantic Jewel’s first defeat on the chin and is just glad that she has pulled up well and will be fine to continue Spring Campaign after spending so long on the sideline through injury.
“There are no excuses. We were beaten by a stronger, tougher horse on the day,” Kavanagh said.
“We live to fight another day and there will be no sooking over the loss.”
“They all get beaten,” Kavanagh explained to Racing Network.
“It’s no shame to get beaten by a head in a Group 1. If you think it’s shameful and want to be upset about it then you better get out of racing, you’re in the wrong caper.
“It’s a Dundeel is a seriously good horse. I offer no excuses except to say she was beaten by a better and fitter horse on the day.”
Atlantic Jewel and It’s A Dundeel look likely to clash again in the Group 1 $400,000 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield in three weeks as their final hit out before the Cox Plate.
The Underwood Stakes results has reshaped the Cox Plate market with Atlantic Jewel easing from $2.40 to $3.30 while It’s A Dundeel has firmed dramatically from $9.50 to $3.80.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente continues to firm and is now a $6.50 chance in front of Puissance De Lune at $10.