Atlantic Jewel back on track for Cox Plate

Atlantic Jewel back on track for Cox PlateShe has four Group One races among her 10 victories and she’s probably among the top few horses in Australia.

Her trainer Mark Kavanagh has only one wish remaining for Atlantic Jewel – he wants her to prove she’s a champion by winning the Cox Plate.

And along with the majority of punters, he is confident she will.

Atlantic Jewel won Saturday’s Group One Caulfield Stakes (2000m) the way she should have, by four lengths and with plenty in hand.

“I’m quite happy with where she is,” Kavanagh said.

“This should tune her right up. We had a little bit left but she should be spot on for the Cox Plate.”

As widely anticipated as it may have been, bookmakers reacted with extraordinary panic to Atlantic Jewel’s 10th victory from 11 starts.

One major firm clipped more than a point from her price before she hit the line at Caulfield turning her in from $3.20 to $2.10. Elsewhere she is at $2.40 for Saturday week’s Moonee Valley feature.

Atlantic Jewel came into Saturday’s race off the back of her only defeat in 11 starts with the only doubt being her ability to run a strong 2000m.

But she put that query to rest with total authority.

“We just had to make sure she ran out the 2000m strong,” said jockey Michael Rodd.

“After the barriers came out I said to Mark there was only one place for us and that was out the back.”

Rodd said Kavanagh hadn’t been wholehearted about the plan and left tactical decisions entirely to his jockey.

Atlantic Jewel, the $1.30 favourite, had only one behind her at the 400m with the leader Spacecraft five lengths ahead of her.

Rodd’s only concern came after passing the halfway mark when Atlantic Jewel dropped the bit and had to be ridden.

But he later turned that negative into a positive.

“She completely spat the bridle out which she’s never done to me before,” he said.

“The reins were flapping … it was really good she could relax like that.”

After that the race evolved as hoped with Atlantic Jewel rounding up her rivals at the top of the straight and sprinting away from Foreteller ($10) who finished a length clear of third placegetter Super Cool ($5.50).