Glamour filly Atlantic Jewel (3f Fastnet Rock x Regard, by Zabeel) is the horse to beat in next Thursday’s Group I VRC Oaks after making a procession of the Group II VRC Wakeful Stakes over 2000 metres at Flemington on Saturday.
Trying 2000 metres for the first time, the unbeaten Mark Kavanagh trained filly gave nothing else a chance when settling back in the field and powering home to win as she pleased by seven lengths.
Best of the rest was lightly raced filly Rahveel followed by Dowager Queen, but realistically that pair will need a minor miracle to challenge Atlantic Jewel next week.
A Group I winner at her last start in the MRC Thousand Guineas, Atlantic Jewel has been the discovery of the spring carnival.
“I wanted to tip her out after the Guineas, but she’s improved again,” said Kavanagh.
“If she does well tonight, she’ll run on Thursday in the Oaks.”
A daughter of brilliant sprinter Fastnet Rock, Atlantic Jewel has been given time to develop, but her trainer always believed she would be special.
“Before she had won a maiden, I said she would win the Thousand Guineas,” Kavanagh revealed.
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 five starts to date earning $576,225.
Bred by Greg Perry, 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.
If Atlantic Jewel can win the Oaks on Thursday she will become the first filly since Arborea in 1993 to win the grand slam of the spring for fillies – Thousand Guineas, Wakeful Stakes and Oaks.
Fastnet Rock followed up in the next race with exciting colt Foxwedge (3c Fastnet Rock x Forest Native, by Forest Wildcat) running a close second to Sepoy in the Group I VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes, his effort suggesting a Group I win later in the season will be well within his range.