Jockey Michael Rodd is heading into Saturday’s All Aged Stakes at Randwick cautiously but is confident that Atlantic Jewel will handle the step up in grade to the top level.
The unbeaten filly is taking on weight for age for the first time in the Group 1 $400,000 All Aged Stakes (1400m) after resuming from a long break to make it six from six in the Group 2 $175,000 Yellowglen Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 14.
Rodd partnered the Mark Kavanagh trained filly in her final workout at Flemington before she travels back to Sydney and said although he was very happy with her work, she will still have to prove herself against some tough weight for age performers.
“The jump in grade to take on the older horses in the Group I is certainly an unknown quantity with her,” Rodd said.
“I’m pretty sure she will handle the rise in grade but you can never be 100 percent sure until they actually go out and do it.”
“She has improved since her last run and should put up a good performance on Saturday.”
Rodd was full of admiration for the Fastnet Rock filly after her first up effortless win in the Sapphire and said that there was a ton of improvement still to come from her.
Flemington clocker Darryl Sherer reported that Atlantic Jewel worked over 1000m the Sydney way of going and was let down the final 400m by Rodd to run 23.4 seconds without the giving impression of running any special time.
“She just looked so effortless while she was doing it,” Sherer said.
“You don’t realise the times she is running while she is working, only when you look down at the clock after she has finished.”
“She only went as fast as Michael Rodd let her go. She worked well within herself but ran good time. She looks a picture and just sauntered off the track when she was done.”
Kavanagh is looking to give Atlantic Jewel a light Autumn campaign before preparing her for the Spring and will get a good guide from Saturdays race on how he will proceed towards the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27.
Rodd will be able to get a good run in behind on the filly after drawing the inside of seven while noted front runners King Mufhasa and Rain Affair have drawn at five and seven and will cross over and work out who’ll be the pacemaker.
Tough New Zealand gelding King Mufhasa is the winner of nine Group ones and is always hard to beat in any race he contests while smart Sydney sprinter Rain Affair went down narrowly chasing his first Group one win to Master Of Design in the $1m Darley T J Smith (1200m) at Randwick on April 14.
The only other female in the small field is Ofcourseican who registered her first Group 1 win in the $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 24 and will start from gate four with Kathy O’Hara to ride again.