Group 1 winner Atlantic Jewel’s immediate future is still up in the air with trainer Mark Kavanagh undecided when the glamour mare will return to the race track.
Further scans in January will give Kavanagh some idea how the injured near fore tendon is mending and possibly give the Flemington trainer some hope of preparing the classy mare for an Autumn comeback.
Atlantic Jewel injured herself at trackwork in the early stages of her Spring preparation and her non-appearance over the Melbourne Spring Carnival left a gaping hole in Kavanagh’s arsensil.
But the top trainer won’t risk his valuable mare and won’t think of putting her back into work unless she is one hundred per cent right.
“It is no good saying we are maybe doing this or maybe doing that – we will be governed by what the scans tell us,” Kavanagh said.
“The horse’s welfare is certainly the most important thing and we will make no plans until we get her back into work.”
Atlantic Jewel has been in the paddock for four months but hasn’t raced since winning the Group 2 $175,000 Yellowglen Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 14 and the Group 1 $400,000 WFA Ticketek All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 28 in a light Autumn campaign.
“She has been out nearly four months now and is still resting, but we are due to conduct further tests on her leg in January,” Kavanagh said.
“She had an MRI scan to start with and then she was scanned again about eight weeks ago. This next scan will give us a good idea of her healing rate.”
If Atlantic Jewel’s scans are favourable and Kavanagh has enough time to prepare her for the Autumn, a clash with super mare Black Caviar in the Group 1 $1m Darley T J Smith (1200m) at Randwick on April 13 could be the highlight of the Sydney Carnival.
The Fastnet Rock mare won her first three races before hitting the headlines with a three lengths victory in last year’s Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield in October followed by a seven lengths win in the Group 2 $300,000 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 29.
Kavanagh had to forego a run in the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington the following week when Atlantic Jewel developed back problems but the then three year bounced back with two wins in Sydney during the Autumn.
Undefeated from seven starts, Atlantic Jewel has earned almost $1 million in prizemoney and if she is unable to return to the racetrack will be a valuable brood mare for Coolmore.
Meanwhile Kavanagh’s two inform sprinters Catapulted and Undeniably will take separate paths during the Summer after filling the quinella first up in the Listed $120,000 BMW Doveton Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on December 8.
Catapulted who beat his stable mate by three lengths at Caulfield will head towards the Group 3 $150,000 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on January 1 while Undeniably will run in the Listed $120,000 Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day.