The 2013 edition of the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) has drawn a star-studded field but jockey Michael Rodd is confident that Atlantic Jewel is the best horse in the field ‘by a long way’.
Atlantic Jewel will be competing at the races for the first time in almost eighteen months and although Rodd admits she will be up against a strong field, he believes that the daughter of Fastnet Rock will be very hard to beat at Caulfield this Saturday.
“I know that I am on the best horse in the race, she is probably the best horse by a long way, I just have to make sure I keep her out of trouble and give her a nice run into the straight,” Rodd told Racing Ahead on RSN.
“There are some great horses in the race tomorrow but they probably aren’t near their best distance.
“My filly is first-up, she is nice and sharp, there to win and will be very hard to beat.”
Atlantic Jewel was dominant in her seven starts as a three-year-old with her only flaw, apart from her proneness to injury, slow speed out of the barriers.
The lack of tactical speed generally meant that Rodd was forced to ride Atlantic Jewel towards the rear of the field but he is confident the glamour mare has improved her barrier jumping skills and will race at the front of the field this weekend.
“The way that she has been trialing and getting out of the barriers I couldn’t see her being any worse than midfield,” Rodd said.
“We will be in the first half and we will take it from there.
“There are a lot of horses that will be getting out the back and working home.”
Rodd is normally the jockey for Australian Cup winner Super Cool, who will be ridden by Glen Boss in the Memsie Stakes on Saturday, and Rodd expects the four-year-old to also put in a strong performance this weekend.
“I am expecting a big run from his as well,” the Melbourne Cup winning jockey said.
“He has come back in good order and he didn’t have the guts run out of him last preparation.
“He is going to be hitting the line.”
Rodd is chasing his second straight victory in the Memsie Stakes after winning the race on Sincero last year.