Atlantic Jewel retired

| October 23, 2013
Champion mare Atlantic Jewel has been officially retired after sustaining another tendon injury.

Champion mare Atlantic Jewel has been officially retired after sustaining another tendon injury.

Champion mare Atlantic Jewel has suffered a tendon injury that has ruled her out of Saturday’s $3 million Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.

Coolmore Stud’s Tom Magnier has indicated his champion mare is officially retired and will be mated with world champion sire Galileo.

Atlantic Jewel has had tendon problems for most of her career but Magnier said this latest injury is “in her good leg”.

“Listen, that is racing,” said a philosophical Magnier. “This is the highs and lows of this sport.”

Magnier said tentative plans are already in place to send Atlantic Jewel to Ireland to be served next February by Coolmore’s super stallion Galileo, the sire of unbeaten champion Frankel.

“We will let the vets make that decision over the next week or so but if it is not to be, she will retire,” Magnier said.

“This latest injury is to her good leg. It is a shame but she has been such a wonderful mare, we have enjoyed every minute we have had of racing her.”

Atlantic Jewel’s shock Cox Plate withdrawal caught everyone by surprise. She had worked well at Flemington yesterday morning and was among the final acceptors for the nation’s weight-for-age championship.

Trainer Mark Kavanagh seemed relaxed during the Cox Plate barrier draw just after 9am and everything seemed to be falling into place when the mare drew ideally in barrier seven.

There was no hint of the drama to come despite Atlantic Jewel drifting in betting.

Even rival owner Nick Williams, who has Green Moon, Seville and Masked Marvel in the Cox Plate, was moved to declare Atlantic Jewel had the Cox Plate at her mercy.

“She will do a Sunline, she is a superstar, she will street them,” Williams said. “We raced the mother of Atlantic Jewel so we have a soft spot for her – she could win by 100 yards.”

But within an hour, the Cox Plate ambitions of Kavanagh and the mare’s owners, Coolmore, were dealt a shattering blow.

Kavanagh learned from his veterinarians that Atlantic Jewel had suffered another serious leg injury, forcing her out of the Cox Plate.

“Atlantic Jewel worked well at Flemington this morning but on cooling off was found to have some swelling in the lower sheath of a flexor tendon in her off side foreleg,” a devastated Kavanagh said in a media statement.

“Scans have just confirmed that there is damage in this tendon and therefore Atlantic Jewel will be scratched from Saturday’s Cox Plate.

“At this stage she will be rested and the owners will make a decision on her future over the next few weeks.”

Atlantic Jewel missed her entire four-year-old season due to injury but had made a magnificent comeback to racing this spring, improving her race record to 10 wins from just 11 starts, adding two more Group 1 successes in the Memsie Satkes and Caulfield Stakes to bring her tally of majors to five, and lifting her prizemoney over $1.58 million.

“I can’t stress enough what a fantastic feat it was by Mark Kavanagh and all his team to get her back this spring,” Magnier said.

“If she has run her last race, then goes onto be a broodmare and she will be a great mare for the breeding shed.

“This is the reality of the reality of the sport we are in. We have had a great ride with the mare – she owes us nothing.”



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