A lot happened in Australia over the weekend.
(1) The undefeated ATLANTIC JEWEL lost in the Group 1, 9 furlong Underwood Stakes at 3/5 odds.
(2) The up and coming IT’S A DUNDEEL won the Underwood Stakes at 6.5/1 odds as the second choice, beating ATLANTIC JEWEL and becoming the current 2/1 favorite for the 10 furlong Cox Plate on Friday, Oct. 25th (USA time).
(3) One of the top three stud farms in Australia, ARROWFIELD, completed a deal to stand It’s a Dundeel a few days after the race.
Here is a YouTube link to the race:
Although Australian races did not show the splits, everything I have learned and read about the race was the pace was very, very slow, which is why the top three at the first call completed the trifecta. The fact that the pace was slow does not flatter Atlantic Jewel for the Cox Plate at 10 furlongs. She had everything her own way in the Underwood and could not win. It’s a Dundeel is usually a closer, but his jockey ignored his trainer’s instructions and challenged Atlantic Jewel because he knew there was no pace in the race besides her. At 10 furlongs It’s a Dundeel will be right in the mix.
A racing expert in Australia named VINCE ACCARDI has several times pointed out in podcasts that even under the best conditions Atlantic Jewel can only put in about a quarter-mile finishing kick, and in the Cox Plate the winner usually puts in a sustained half-mile burst, so the result of the Underwood may be a bit of a Cox Plate preview.
In my last blog post, I did make an educated guess that Atlantic Jewel’s trainer, Mark Kavanagh, ran Atlantic Jewel back on one week rest because she was very likely not 100% fit. An expert on Australian race fitness, JIM CONWAY confirmed that Atlantic Jewel showed signs of lacking race fitness and he does expect improvement by October 25th. But I expect Atlantic Jewel will still be one of the top 3 choices on Cox Plate Day, so I will probably not use her in the big race.