Trainer Leon Corstens does not expect classy mare Commanding Jewel to be victorious when she makes her much-anticipated return to racing in the Listed Carlyon Sprint (1000m) at Moonee Valley tomorrow.
The Carlyon Sprint has drawn a strong list of horses and the pace is sure to be on early with speedy sprinters Adebisi and Adamantium included in the field.
Corstens told Racing Ahead that Commanding Jewel is close to her peak racing fitness and in excellent condition but he believes she may be outpaced in the early stages of the race this weekend.
“I still think that there is quite a bit of pace in the race and I personally think that the 1000 might be just a little short for her,” Corstens said on RSN.
“She is about 85% or 90% percent wound up.
“She looks great, I think that she has matured a lot and she has put on quite a bit of eight in the right places.
“I would love to say that she could win but sometimes the Valley can be a little bit tricky and suits the on-pacers.”
Corstens said earlier in the month that the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 is the ultimate 2013 Spring Racing Carnival goal for the daughter of Commands but told RSN this morning he will be taking it one step at a time with the four-year-old.
“All going well we will head towards the Let’s Elope (at Flemington on September 7) and after that we will just wait and see,” the veteran trainer said.
Despite Corstens reservations Commanding Jewel, who will be having her first start since her Thousand Guineas triumph last October, is a narrow favourite in Carlyon Sprint betting markets from Danny O’Brien-trained Adamantium, McKay Stakes winner General Truce and lightly-raced Golden Sunshine.