Commanding a fortune
TWO of Australia’s major studs are expected to stage a bidding war for Atlantic Jewel’s little sister Commanding Jewel, who is now second favourite for October’s group 1 Thousand Guineas following her impressive win at Moonee Valley yesterday.
Commanding Jewel’s connections refused a $1 million-plus offer before she even made her racing debut and after yesterday’s demolition of her fellow three-year-old fillies, interest in her has soared. Both Darley Australia and Coolmore are certain to be tracking her progress as she is by Darley stallion Commands and is the three-quarter sister to Coolmore’s super mare Atlantic Jewel, at present on the injured list.
The studs will not get another chance to secure a sibling of Atlantic Jewel as Commanding Jewel and her half-sister are the only two foals to be produced by the Zabeel mare Regard, who died 12 months ago after a foal by Flying Spur had died the previous season.
”There’s a touch of quality about her,” Damien Oliver said after dismounting. ”She’s got a great turn of foot.”
For a few strides before the home turn, Oliver was put into a pocket by apprentice Chad Schofield aboard Mama’s Choice.
However, once the $1.85 favourite saw daylight on the point of the home turn, she put the race away when she sprinted clear. ”She was going well enough to ease her way out without testing her too much,” Oliver said.
”There are no worries with 1400 metres as I was really pleased the way she settled so well in behind them.”
Trainer Leon Corstens has long held the view that Commanding Jewel could progress to the elite level, so he was as relieved as he was pleased to see her stroll home by a length.
”I think after that we’ve got to look for a 1400-metre race for her as I’d like to think that she was a Thousand Guineas [1600 metres] chance and that’s the path we’ll take with her,” Corstens said.
For a few hours, Commanding Jewel held Thousand Guineas favouritism but she was later shaded by Sydney filly Nechita, who impressively won the Silver Shadow Stakes at Warwick Farm.
Commanding Jewel in the latest success for syndicator Brad Spicer, whose notable credits include buying and syndicating former super sprinter Starspangledbanner as well as last season’s SA Derby winner Zabeelionaire.
Atlantic Jewel was still six months away from racing when Spicer went to the Magic Millions sales and spotted her younger half-sister. She wasn’t exactly what he was after, but he saw something in her that made him throw in the winning bid of $205,000.
”I’m glad I did now,” he said.
”It’s a great result today as Leon’s always had some pretty high expectations for her over the past 12 months and she’s now living up to those raps.”