Commanding Jewel scored a comfortable barrier trial victory at Wangaratta this morning, but trainer Leon Corstens has ruled the talented mare out of the 2014 Tattersall’s Tiara that will be run at Eagle Farm next Saturday.
Commanding Jewel contested the opening barrier trial of the morning over 1200 metres at Wangaratta and she scored a comfortable two and a half lengths win on the rain affected surface.
Corstens told TVN that he was unable to properly assess the performance of Commanding Jewel because of the heavy track and confirmed that the Commands mare would miss the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) and be saved for a 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
“I’m going to pull the pin now and save her for the Spring,” Corstens said.
“I was hoping to head up there and get a firm track, but they had a lot of rain overnight and the track is a heavy 9 at the moment.
“Michael Rodd rode her and he said she gave him a good feel, but added she wouldn’t really let down in the conditions.
“I’m not getting a real indication of how she is going because every time we’ve trialled her it has been on wet tracks.
“I’m sure that if she found a good track she’d fly.”
Commanding Jewel has not been seen at the races since her 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign was ended prematurely due to injury, but she has proven she is capable of competing at the highest level by scoring wins in the 2012 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) and 2013 Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m).
Corstens is hoping that Commanding Jewel will be able to return to that sort of level during her spring preparation this year and is eyeing the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day with the three-quarters sister to glamour mare Atlantic Jewel.
“A race like the Myer Classic would be ideal for her,” Corstens said
“I’m pretty sure she will come up really well and this is the best option for her now.”
Despite the absence of Commanding Jewel, the Tattersall’s Tiara is still set to draw a genuine Group 1 field; with two-time Group 1 winner Red Tracer, Chris Waller-trained Catkins, Stradbroke Handicap placegetter Srikandi, Robert Sangster Stakes winner Driefontein, Gai Waterhouse-trained Cosmic Endeavour and the in-form Avoid Lightning all expected to line up in the race.