ATLANTIC Jewel was made to work harder than she ever has but showed her superstar qualities to become the first filly in 86 years to win the group 1 All Aged Stakes at Randwick yesterday
The unbeaten filly was sent out at Black Caviar-like odds of $1.12 but was forced to chase hard to run down Rain Affair ($7.50) in her first test at weight-for-age.
Atlantic Jewel became the first filly since Valicare in 1926 to win the race and she will now be sent for a spell and aimed at the Cox Plate.
Atlantic Jewel, who won the Thousand Guineas in the spring, settled second in the 1400-metre feature and pinned her ears back in the straight to reel in Rain Affair and score by 1¼ lengths, with half-a-length to Ofcourseican ($61).
''You know Rain Affair is a tough customer but horses like Atlantic Jewel know how to win and know where the winning post is,'' her trainer Mark Kavanagh said.
''They are very clever. You've got to admire them. I know I do.
''She chased him down, had him in her sights and beat him fair and square.''
The scratching of King Mufhasa changed the complexion of the race and Atlantic Jewel's jockey Michael Rodd's plan was to not let Rain Affair get too far in front.
''It wasn't ideal to ride her like that but Kav said before the race that we didn't want any hard-luck stories,'' Rodd said.
''Like everyone said through the week, this was her toughest test and she came through it.''
Atlantic Jewel took her record to seven from seven while Rain Affair had to settle for second in a group 1 for the second race in a row after his narrow defeat in the TJ Smith Stakes a fortnight ago.
In a sign of how well Atlantic Jewel performed, Rain Affair's jockey Christian Reith was still shaking his head 10 minutes after the race.
''I thought they had no hope of catching me,'' he said. ''He just kept accelerating and attacked the line. The winner is a superstar. One out of the box.''
Rain Affair picked up $80,000 for finishing second and his trainer, Joe Pride, said he would be happy to never have to face the outstanding filly again.
''I'm happy to kick in with the $80,000 to get her overseas,'' he said. ''We'll pay her fee. She should be racing in Europe. It's no disgrace pushing her out. He made her chase him. He'll get his turn.''
Atlantic Jewel's owners include Coolmore Stud, and Michael Kirwan said the filly would continue to race in Australia.
''She'll be racing in Australia in the spring, but anything is possible [after that],'' he said.