Sunday, 8 July 2012
Preparations for Atlantic Jewel's spring return are being ramped up but trainer Mark Kavanagh is looking for Melbourne's wet weather to ease so she can further extended.
Atlantic Jewel, the unbeaten rising four-year-old, is the early favourite for this year's Cox Plate and has started three-quarter pace work at Flemington ahead of her new season return.
Kavanagh said weather would play a part in Atlantic Jewel's preparations for the spring.
"It's still early stages but everything is going along OK," Kavanagh said.
"She did some three-quarter pace work (on Saturday morning). The way the weather is at the moment, I just hope it dries out a bit to get a track to give her a couple of good gallops on."
Kavanagh said Atlantic Jewel had strengthened noticeably in her time off after a short but successful autumn carnival campaign in Sydney.
The daughter of Fastnet Rock
returned from injury with a breathtaking victory in the Sapphire Stakes at Randwick (1200m) in April before chasing down Rain Affair in the Group One weight-for-age All Aged Stakes (1400m).
Kavanagh said the light autumn was likely to help the outstanding galloper when she returns in the spring.
"We do get excited about her, and it was nice to see her back in the autumn after having that injury," Kavanagh said.
"This time she went to the paddock at the top of her game so she should come back OK."
Atlantic Jewel's stablemate December Draw, who suffered a fracture to the lateral splint bone in his off hind leg in last year's Caulfield Cup, is also pleasing Kavanagh as he prepares for a spring return.
The imported December Draw rose to prominence last spring with wins in the Group Three Naturalism Stakes (2000m) and Group One Turnbull Stakes (2000m) before being injured and finishing last as favourite in the Caulfield Cup.
As part of his comeback December Draw had a preparation without racing and is now back at Flemington building up for the spring.
"He has muscled up pretty well and looks strong," Kavanagh said.
"He's in good order but it's early days yet. We won't really know whether he's come back 100 per cent until he's put under pressure."
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