Have you met racing’s next Black Caviar? She is Atlantic Jewel

Justin Cinque Columnist

By Justin Cinque, Justin Cinque is a Roar Expert

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    Royal Randwick, the jewel in racing's crown. (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

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    How long until we see the next Black Caviar? Ask Google Maps and it says 33 minutes in current traffic. If you use the Princes Highway route, it’s a shade less than 20 kilometres.

    “What are you going on about?” I hear you ask. Well that’s how far it is from Black Caviar’s Caulfield base to Flemington Racecourse.

    And at Flemington, in Mark Kavanagh’s racing stables, you’ll find a horse with the ability of Black Caviar. And would you believe, she’s never lost?

    Her is name is Atlantic Jewel.

    In seven starts, this four-year old mare has won at distances ranging 1100-2000m and she has two Group 1s next to her name.

    Among her scalps is the four-time Group 1 winner Mosheen (whom she buried by three lengths in 2011 Thousand Guineas) and Rain Affair (the horse that set the frenetic pace in last Saturday’s TJ Smith Stakes).

    Atlantic Jewel was the best three-year old filly in the world last season. And that’s something not even Black Caviar could claim at the same age.

    ‘AJ’ has sustained speed and a wicked turn of foot. And like Black Caviar, she covers the ground with such a big stride that it takes my breath away.

    She can sprint. But the best part is she can stay as well!

    This isn’t the first time AJ has been asked to step up and fill a void left by Black Caviar.

    Across Melbourne, during last year’s Spring Carnival – when Black Caviar was resting in the paddock after her Royal Ascot win – Atlantic Jewel was chosen by Racing Victoria to be the ‘face of the Carnival’.

    Atlantic Jewel’s picture was printed on flags. We saw her navy-blue silks in pubs, clubs, TABs and even on the streets of Melbourne.

    I flew down from Sydney for September 1st’s Memsie Stakes meeting at Caulfield.

    The reason I booked the short trip was to get a glimpse of Atlantic Jewel, who was due to begin her four-year old campaign in the Memsie (1400m, Group 2, weight-for-age) on the first day of spring.

    At that point, I hadn’t even travelled to see Black Caviar race. That’s how good I think AJ is.

    But she didn’t make it to the track. On August 15, she was ruled out of the Spring Carnival with a tendon injury.

    And we haven’t seen her at the races since she won the All Aged Stakes (1400m, Group 1, weight-for-age) 51 weeks ago.

    Atlantic Jewel is in a pre-training phase right now. If you head to Flemington today, you’ll find her at Mark Kavanagh’s stables, re-acclimatising to life as a racehorse.

    The plan is to send AJ back to the paddock at the end of April before starting her spring preparation in early June.

    The Cox Plate (2040m, Group 1, weight-for-age) on October 26 is going to be her main target.

    And in that race Atlantic Jewel is likely to clash with stable-mate and Australian Cup (2000m, Group 1, weight-for-age) winner Super Cool as well as Triple Crown champion It’s A Dundeel.

    Throw in probable spring clashes with VRC Derby (2500m, Group 1, three-year olds) and BMW (2400m, Group 1, weight-for-age) victor Fiveandahalfstar; quality imports Sea Moon, Fiorente, and Reliable Man; and all of a sudden the loss of Black Caviar doesn’t look as big.

    Whether Atlantic Jewel is able to overcome (what will be) a 17-month layoff remains to be seen.

    There is no doubt, however, that many people Black Caviar drew to the races are already lost to the sport. After all, Black Caviar transcended racing.

    But to the fans waiting patiently for the next champion mare, I say to you, “she could be already here!”

    She is Atlantic Jewel.

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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • April 19th 2013 @ 5:55am
      nan said | April 19th 2013 @ 5:55am | ! Report

      You may be right Justin- Lets hope her injuries are not thrown up as excuses if she loses. This mare had the potential to match it with BC but got injured so now we will never know. Aj has a long way to go to match BC;s feat but i hope she stays sound and can get to rebuilding her winning streak. What she did to mosheen and then what mosheen did to the rest then this horse certainly has the potential.

      • Columnist

        April 19th 2013 @ 8:05am
        Justin Cinque said | April 19th 2013 @ 8:05am | ! Report

        Great comment nan!

        I have a lot of faith in Mark Kavanagh – think he’s an outstanding trainer. The patience he has with AJ is the same patience PG Moody had with Black Caviar as a three-year old.

        Throughout racing history there are examples of horses missing more than a year of racing and coming back – Todman and Tulloch did it. AJ has as much ability as any other great horse. I can’t wait to see her back.

      • Columnist

        April 19th 2013 @ 8:37am
        Geoff Parkes said | April 19th 2013 @ 8:37am | ! Report

        You have it dead right nan, Black Caviar had it all, but Atlantic Jewel has one thing that Black Caviar didn’t have, and that’s a serious injury.

        No question in my mind also that she’s an outstanding horse with all the champion attributes – explosive turn of foot, seemingly effortless, and versatile enough to race to any pattern. So fingers crossed she’s made a complete recovery.

        I guess the mainstream media will go looking for a BC replacement, but I don’t so much care about that angle, I’m just hanging out to see her race again for what she is.

        • Columnist

          April 19th 2013 @ 8:44am
          Justin Cinque said | April 19th 2013 @ 8:44am | ! Report

          You’re right Allanthus. There can be no other Black Caviar regardless of how good AJ may be – I doubt the public will embrace her in the same way they did Nelly.

          • Columnist

            April 19th 2013 @ 9:23am
            Geoff Parkes said | April 19th 2013 @ 9:23am | ! Report

            While we’re speaking of champions of the turf…

            Not wishing to tempt fate but the real Allanthus finally makes his debut as a hurdler on Sunday, Race 2 at Ballarat. Talking to one of the other owners, it’s a different type of feeling compared to a flat race – normally you’re looking for them to run well, to win or place, but in a jump you’re happy just to see them get around safely, and anything after that is a bonus.

            Which is probably not a good basis for participating in any sport…

            • Columnist

              April 19th 2013 @ 9:28am
              Justin Cinque said | April 19th 2013 @ 9:28am | ! Report

              Haha… yeah it must be strange. Wish you well.

              Hopefully he puts in a beautiful trial for the ‘Bool. You know the Galleywood is shaping up as a winnable hurdle this year (tongue firmly in cheek!)

              • Columnist

                April 19th 2013 @ 9:48am
                Geoff Parkes said | April 19th 2013 @ 9:48am | ! Report

                I’m secretly hoping that he runs well, but not quite well enough to go on to Warnambool. Not sure my liver or wallet is up for that sort of pounding right now!

    • Roar Pro

      April 19th 2013 @ 10:10am
      Alexander Grant said | April 19th 2013 @ 10:10am | ! Report

      I absolutely adore AJ and was gutted when I heard that she was never a chance of racing in the spring.

      Odds on a 4yo NOT winning the Cox Plate? 😉

    • Editor

      April 19th 2013 @ 10:55am
      Tristan Rayner said | April 19th 2013 @ 10:55am | ! Report

      Great article. I’m a huge fan of Atlantic Jewel, and just like Caviar, her family has all sorts of talent – see Commanding Jewel for an idea!

    • April 19th 2013 @ 5:13pm
      Blake said | April 19th 2013 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

      AJ was a budding champion no doubt about it. But if she doesn’t come back 100% then It’s a Dundeel with towel her (and any other rival he meets) in the Cox Plate.

      He is The Next Big thing in Australian racing. Unlimited staying potential.

    • April 19th 2013 @ 6:45pm
      Haradasun said | April 19th 2013 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

      Let’s hope that she is the same horse when she resumes.

      What a cracking cox plate it could be this year! It’s a dundeel v Altantic Jewel, ATH, Ocean Park, 5.5 star. Would love to see Pierro there again, but I have a feeling he will be retired shortly, which is a shame to see horses that never reach their full potential.

      Blake, granted It’s a Dundeel had a cracking run and rated very well, but would it have been the same in circumstances against stronger opposition? Not to take anything away from him, he is breathaking in full flight, but the 3yo form drops off very quickly this year and you can’t argue with the fact that 5.5 star is 1-0 against dundeel after putting him under pressure in the derby.

      Fingers crossed for Norzita tomorrow! Good luck.

    • April 20th 2013 @ 5:47am
      nan said | April 20th 2013 @ 5:47am | ! Report

      We have some real young stars to watch out for in spring- I hope the 2yos go on with it as pierro has- Overreach , miracles of life and i would hope the undefeated 2yo from tassie would trip to mainland.
      Spring racing could be a real cracker when you factor in the early betting on some of the older horses i would love to see an Aussie or Nz er take it up to the imports

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