“Pretty good”. That was Mark Kavanagh understated assessment of the awesome win by Atlantic Jewel in the $70,000 BMW 3YO Fillies Handicap at Caulfield on Saturday.
The boom filly maintained her unbeaten status and took a vice-like grip on Schweppes Thousand Guineas favouritism with a soft win in the 1400-metre event.
Kavanagh did his best to play down Atlantic Jewel’s third career success, but jockey Damien Oliver, who was filling in for the suspended Michael Rodd, was happy to talk up the daughter of Fastnet Rock.
“She’s a star,” Oliver beamed. “She had time to look at the sponsors’ board halfway down the straight and still win.
“She relaxes, she’s got a good temperament, she’ll switch off and she could run any trip you wanted to.”
Oliver settled Atlantic Jewel in third-last position on the outside, before edging her into the race from the 500m.
It was obvious the $1.50 favourite had her rivals covered before straightening, she claimed the lead 250m out and despite shying at something on the infield for a few strides not long after was still able to coast home by 2-3/4 lengths.
Our Miss Jones ($14) made good ground from the rear to run into second placing, three quarters of a length in front of the consistent Sharnee Rose ($8).
Atlantic Jewel’s next start will be in the $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas at Caulfield on 12 October – for which she is the $2 favourite – and while Kavanagh pointed out she is yet to race against her biggest Guineas rivals he is confident she will.
“She’s raced against the lower grade, she hasn’t been up against those sorts of horses last week (in the Thousand Guineas Prelude), so it will be interesting when we find out and let her go in a couple of weeks,” Kavanagh said.
“But I rate her up there.”