Atlantic Jewel leaves opposition in awe after sparkling run
Not often are Mark Kavanagh and Michael Rodd left speechless, and even less often does Graeme Rogerson admit defeat before a Group 1.
Atlantic Jewel was responsible for all of that and more at Flemington yesterday. The unbeaten Fastnet Rock filly turned in the sort of exhibition we have come to expect from Black Caviar, in the Wakeful Stakes, and is set to do the same in Thursday's VRC Oaks.
''We will be racing for second on Thursday if she is there,'' Rogerson, who prepared third placegetter Dowager Queen, said.
Atlantic Jewel gave all her rivals weight yesterday and beat them by seven lengths, without jockey Rodd really even having to move. On Thursday she will take on a similar field at set weights.
''That was painless,'' Rodd said.
''I thought she would win by a margin, but not like that. I just want to go and watch the replay.
''She is so brilliant and I'm just looking to the Oaks now.''
Atlantic Jewel settled at the back of the field but in a couple of strides rounded the other runners and at the 300m seized the front before waltzing away from Rahveel and Dowager Queen.
''I was optimistic but, turn it up, they just don't do that,'' Kavanagh said. ''What do you say after that? She has a turn of foot and she's so athletic. [She is] just a very special horse.''
Kavanagh said it was only a matter of Atlantic Jewel doing things right in the next couple of days ahead of the Oaks.
Atlantic Jewel, racing in the Coolmore colours, is set to stick around for the next couple of seasons, which should delight Australian racing fans.
''That's exciting - you don't see them do that too often,'' Coolmore's racing manager, Tom Magnier, said.
''She is a filly so she will be staying here. It is little bit different with the colts but she is one which will be staying in Australia.''
Rogerson had planned to ruin Atlantic Jewel's party with his Oaks-bound filly Dowager Queen but those hopes were left in tatters just after turning for home.
''I told Craig [Williams] to follow the favourite but she just left us standing,'' Rogerson said.
''Perhaps we should have been more aggressive but I don't think it would have mattered.
''I would think if [Atlantic Jewel] gets to Thursday we would be happy to settle for second.''