Jockey Michael Rodd said that he will be happy to roll forward on Atlantic Jewel in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
As a three-year-old Atlantic Jewel generally jumped poorly from the barriers and was unable to muster early tactical speed but she showed in her dominant victory in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 31 that this was no longer a problem when she jumped from the gates well and sat just off the pace in third position.
There does not appear to be much early speed in the Stocks Stakes field and Rodd told Sky Racing HQ that he will not hesitate to take up a position just off the lead this weekend.
“There doesn’t seem to be much pace in the race and I will be positive out of the barriers,” Rodd said.
“After 100 metres I will make my mind up about where I am going to sit.
“Oasis Bloom looks like it will roll along and if I can sit outside her I will be happy to do so.
“It is a great responsibility riding a mare like Atlantic Jewel and I just need to make sure she stays out of trouble.”
Rodd said that he agreed with the decision of trainer Mark Kavanagh to run Atlantic Jewel in the Stocks Stakes rather than the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) on the same card, a move that he believes will protect the long-term future of the glamour mare.
“That is what Mark does really well with these horses,” Rodd said.
“He has shown in the past that he tries to have longevity with them and look after them and that is what he is doing by racing her in the mares races this Saturday.”
Rodd is chasing his second victory in the Stocks Stakes after winning the 2007 edition of the race on Kavanagh-trained Devil Moon.