Classy mare Commanding Jewel is set to make her first appearance at the races since winning the 2012 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) after being included in the nominations for Saturdays Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
The three-quarter-sister to undefeated mare Atlantic Jewel finally lived up to her potential in the Thousand Guineas when she recorded a strong three lengths victory over Dear Demi and Zydeco who went on to quinella the 2012 Crown Oaks (2500m).
Commanding Jewel missed the entire 2013 Autumn Racing Carnival due to a minor joint injury but managing co-owner Brad Spicer told TVN that the daughter of Commands had recovered completely from the injury and returned from her lengthy break as a much stronger mare.
The Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) is the ultimate 2013 Spring Racing Carnival goal for Commanding Jewel but trainer Leon Corstens will wait until he sees how his star mare measures up in open company before deciding on her spring plans.
Another mare set to return from a lengthy spell is Oasis Bloom who has not been seen at the races since finishing fourth behind Appearance in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day last year.
The daughter of Al Maher finished seventh behind Lady Melksham in the 2012 edition of the Cockram Stakes and went on to have a successful campaign that was highlighted by a gutsy victory in the Group 2 Top Cut Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley in September.
Oasis Bloom was included in the nominations for both the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and the Cox Plate when they were released last week.
Another Cox Plate hopeful who is set to kick-off their campaign in the Cockram Stakes is Bonaria who finished fifth in the mares race last year.
The Redoute’s Choice mare had an inconsistent autumn campaign with impressive victories in the Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) and Lort Smith Animal Hospital Handicap (1600m) bookended by disappointing efforts in the Group 2 Queen Of the South Stakes (1600m) and Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m).
Consistent mare Octavia, Peter Moody-trained Kneeling and veteran Serene Star were also included in the Cockram Stakes nominations.