It took a special animal to snap an 86-year drought for three-year-old fillies in Saturday’s Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
Fastnet Rock’s (Danehill – Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) wonderful daughter Atlantic Jewel (Fastnet Rock – Regard, by Zabeel) put her undefeated record on the line in the 2012 edition of the event, which was her first start at weight-for-age.
Three-year-old fillies had struggled in previous editions of the famous event with Valicare the last of Atlantic Jewel’s age and sex to win the All Aged Stakes in 1926.
However, Atlantic Jewel left Randwick unbeaten from seven starts after prevailing in a terrific duel with the noted front-runner Rain Affair (Commands – I Believe, by Octagonal) over the concluding stages.
The withdrawal of top New Zealand performer (King) Mufhasa (Pentire – Sheila Cheval, by Mi Preferido) upset Atlantic Jewel’s usual racing pattern of swooping from the second half of the field with jockey Michael Rodd and trainer Mark Kavanagh determined to remove luck from the equation in the $405,000 event.
Rodd positioned Atlantic Jewel behind Rain Affair until the field topped the Randwick rise. Rain Affair skipped two lengths clear at the 300 metres but Atlantic Jewel ran him down late to score by 1-1/4 lengths. The win was different from Atlantic Jewel’s previous romps but the result pleased Kavanagh.
“She chased him down, had him in her sights and beat him fair and square,” he said. “They don’t have to win by much do they, as long as they win. Octagonal didn’t win by much.”
The win was Atlantic Jewel’s second Group 1 success after the filly proved too strong for the subsequent quadruple Group 1 winner Mosheen (Fastnet Rock – Sumehra, by Stravinsky) in the Thousand Guineas (1600m) in the spring.
Kavanagh and Atlantic Jewel’s owners, the Coolmore Stud operation, will consider a Cox Plate preparation for the rising four-year-old after a winter spell.
The All Aged Stakes prizemoney took Atlantic Jewel’s prizemoney to more than $920,000, almost three times the $320,000 the filly attracted at the 2010 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale.