Jockey Michael Rodd believes that the staying credentials of glamour mare Atlantic Jewel will be put to the test in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield tomorrow.
Atlantic Jewel will be stepping out beyond a mile for the first time since her dominant seven lengths victory in the 2011 Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and Rodd told Racing Ahead that he is not sure whether the unbeaten mares’ brilliance will not extend over longer distances.
“She is so brilliant and has that devastating turn of foot that you wonder that when you keep extending the distance whether you drag that out of her,” Rodd said on RSN.
“I don’t think that you can take a real good line out of the Wakeful – three-year-old form getting up over 2000 meters can be a bit dodgy and that was a canter around for her that day.
“Tomorrow is a totally different kettle of fish you just have some outstanding racehorses.
“There is so much depth there that she has never seen before at this distance.
“It is going to be very interesting especially the last furlong tomorrow.”
Working in Rodd’s favour is the fact that Atlantic Jewel will jump from barrier seven and the leading jockey looks as though he will have the opportunity to dictate the terms of the race, with no natural leaders in the Underwood Stakes field.
Rodd said he has accessed the speed map for the race but will be waiting until the barriers open tomorrow before he makes a decision on where to position the five-year-old during the run.
“There are a lot of question marks,” Rodd said.
“Obviously I will be in front from the start and she will be able to come across in front of them.
“It just depends on what some of the others want to do.
“I’m really going to have to wait for the barriers to open tomorrow and play it by ear.”
While Rodd may be slightly worried about the staying ability of Atlantic Jewel he has no such worries about her current condition and said she has come out of her effortless victory in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley extremely well.
“She couldn’t have pulled up any better,” Rodd said.
“Saturday’s run wasn’t too taxing on her and she has come through it really well.
“I galloper her yesterday and she was absolutely bubbling.
“During her work she was quiet strong and finished off really nicely so you really can’t fault her going into tomorrow’s race.”
Rodd is chasing his second victory in the Underwood Stakes after previously winning the race with Lion Tamer in 2011.