Spending nearly a year on the sidelines after suffering a nasty muscle injury early in her 2013 spring preparation, co-trainers Leon and Troy Corstens have revealed Commanding Jewel is poised for a return to racing in this weekend’s Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
A standout performer over her short racing career so far, Commanding Jewel was forced to the spelling paddock after pulling up sore following a strong win in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m), and had her stay extended when suffering a nasty hoof injury in a paddock accident in the lead-up to a racing return at the beginning of 2014.
Contesting several strong barrier trials with a view towards running in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at the conclusion of the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival in June, Leon Corstens told AAP the build-up towards the Commands mare’s return to competition has been long and tedious, but is thrilled to have reached the first-up goal.
“It was a nasty injury,” Leon said.
“It’s taken a long time and been very frustrating. I’m just really pleased for the owners and for myself that we’ve got her back again.”
Officially taking up a position as co-trainer with his father from July 1st, Troy Corstens said jockey Damien Oliver will be charged with partnering Commanding Jewel in a track gallop at Flemington on Tuesday morning as a final test ahead of her competitive return in the 2014 Cockram Stakes.
“Damien is going to have a sit on her on Tuesday in a track gallop at Flemington and we’ll get a good guide from there,” Troy said.
“I’m pleased with her. All going well she’s going to run in the Cockram.”
Securing an impressive total of four wins and two minor places from just seven competitive race starts so far, Commanding Jewel stamped her claims as a serious contender from her debut campaign through the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival; winning each of her first two starts, finishing second in the Group 3 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) and third in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1610m) before breaking through for a maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) in October.
Yet to be confirmed for a path beyond this weekend’s Cockram Stakes, Commanding Jewel has been included in nominations for the 2014 Cox Plate (2040m), to be run at Moonee Valley on October 25th.