The Group II MVRC Stocks Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday proved little more than a track gallop for superstar mare Atlantic Jewel (5m Fastnet Rock x Regard, by Zabeel).
Sent out at Black Caviar odds against a field of moderate mares, the Mark Kavanagh trained Atlantic Jewel never put a foot wrong in travelling sweetly for Michael Rodd just off the pace before bounding away at the top of the straight.
With little more than a shake of the reins from Rodd, Atlantic Jewel coasted home to win the 1600 metre feature by two and a half lengths with ears pricked, just as her growing legion of fans expected.
“That was just a little course proper gallop, a mile home three,” said Kavanagh when his star returned to scale.
“She’s a special horse. There’s still plenty of improvement in her.
“Her target is the Cox Plate and she’ll be at her best on that day.”
A $320,000 purchase for Demi O’Byrne from the Vinery Stud draft at the 2010 Magic Millions Yearling Sale, Atlantic Jewel runs in the Coolmore colours for a syndicate of owners and has won all nine starts to date earning $1.2 million.
Bred by Greg Perry and foaled down at Vinery, Atlantic Jewel is the first living foal of the well-bred Zabeel mare Regard, a grand-daughter of Group I Cheveley Park Stakes winner Pass the Peace.
Also successful on Saturday for Fastnet Rock were quality mare Driefontein (4m Fastnet Rock x Follow Gold, by Export Gold), winner of the Group III ATC Sheraco Stakes at Rosehill and promising Kiwi based colt El Roca (3c Fastnet Rock x Rubimill, by Rubiton), winner of the Listed Westbury Stud Challenge Stakes at Ruakaka in New Zealand.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Driefontein is headed to Melbourne later this spring for a tilt at the Group I VRC Myer Classic, while El Roca is also destined for Melbourne and is entered for the Group I MRC Caulfield Guineas.