Former Melbourne Cup winning trainer Mark Kavanagh is eyeing off the newly upgraded $350,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) as a first-up option for his smart Cox Plate-bound duo of Super Cool and Atlantic Jewel.
It would be scintillating showdown between the two who boast three previous Group 1 trophies between them, the Memsie to run at Caulfield Racecourse on August 31.
Fastnet Rock four-year-old Super Cool hasn’t raced since their tight Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) victory over The BMW winner Fiveandahalfstar at Flemington on March 9 last year.
That was the then three-year-old’s fourth win from nine career starts that also included a win in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
Now the smart horse will have a jump-out at Flemington on Friday morning to help Kavanagh decide where to kick off their campaign.
“He’s furnished out and he’s matured nicely,” Kavanagh told Racing Victoria this week.
“He’s just going to tell us on the way where we should put him but he could be running at the end of the month in the Memsie.”
Super Cool has been nominated for all the spring majors this season including the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19 and the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) the following Saturday – inaugural entries for which both closed this week.
There’s also a chance Kavanagh will see enough staying potential in them to suggest they could be competitive in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November.
Kavanagh won the 2009 Melbourne Cup with his now retired star Shocking.
Super Cool is already one of the top fancies for the Cox Plate too paying $7 on the second line of betting behind only Sydney Autumn 3YO Triple Crown winner It’s A Dundeel ($4.60).
Also paying $7 to win this year’s Cox Plate is Super Cool’s stablemate Atlantic Jewel.
Struck down by a tendon injury during mid-way through last year the five-year-old Fastnet Rock mare hasn’t run since winning her second Group 1 victory in the All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in April last year.
Prior to that she won all six of her other career starts including the 2011 Thousand Guineas.
Kavanagh has been very patient bringing her back having originally thought her career over.
She will also trial on Friday morning before with Kavanagh to use her performance there to determine her first-up assignment.
“She’ll have a jumpout on Friday and that’ll give us a good indication of how forward she is,” he said.
“It’s 18 months since she raced, so we’ve got to adopt a wait-and-see attitude with her.
“We won’t be giving her a gut-buster.
“We’ll certainly be having a good look at her and then make a decision from there.”
Options include the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 17 and the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 7.
There’s also a chance she’ll go straight to elite level in the Memsie Stakes joining Super Cool in the Caulfield feature at the end of the month.
“These horses need to be nursed back and 18 months off gives you an indication that they’re going to be vulnerable first-up if they’re not quite right, so we won’t be running her unless she’s absolutely right,” Kavanagh said.