RARE GEM: Atlantic Jewel streets the field in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images”SPECIAL horses defy logic.”
Top jockey Glen Boss sure got it right when he said that on Melbourne radio last week.
Unfortunately he was talking about Puissance De Lune and not Atlantic Jewel.
If Boss had waited until late on Saturday afternoon, he, like any rival owner, trainer and jockey, would have been saying: “How in heck are we going to beat her.”
Yes, Atlantic Jewel is that special horse with the X-factor.
To come back to racing after 70 weeks and win with the arrogance she showed against group 1 company was simply stunning.
If she could win so easily against the best around first-up in the Memsie, think what she will do now she has some match practice.
Puissance De Lune is a great horse and is the one to beat in the Melbourne Cup.
But if he lines up against Atlantic Jewel in the Cox Plate, he, like the rest of them, will be also-rans.
Those who witnessed the deeds of the champion Kingston Town and the great Dulcify said it was one of racing’s great tragedies that they never raced each other.
Maybe in years to come racing purists and punters will say the same about Black Caviar and Atlantic Jewel.
■ Master Newcastle trainer Paul Perry believes that in Ghost Protocol he may finally have the horse to win his home-town cup.
Perry immediately announced plans to run Ghost Protocol in the group 3 $175,000 Newcastle Cup (2300 metres) on September 17 after his terrific second at Rosehill on Saturday.
Ghost Protocol found the line better than any other stayer in the 2400m race when second to Dana’s Best.
“He got caught behind a tiring horse at the 700 metres when he was starting to make his run,” Perry said.
“If he had got a clear run at that stage, I think he would have won.”
Perry, a multiple group 1 winner throughout Australia and in England, has never won the Newcastle Cup.
“I think I had a horse run a place, but really I haven’t got close to winning the Newcastle Cup,” he said on Saturday night.
“After that run today I will definitely have a shot at the race with Ghost Protocol.
“He will only need to tick over from now and he should be at his peak for the Newcastle Cup.”
■ Cessnock trainer Jeremy Sylvester continued his Brisbane plunder on Saturday.
Sylvester has had wins at Doomben in the past fortnight with Convent Hill and Buckmoore.
On Saturday he again combined with Robert Thompson to win with Uno Five at Eagle Farm.
“I suppose I will have to find a NSW racing calendar to work out what to do with the horses now as they are all coming home,” Sylvester said with a laugh from Brisbane.
“The three I have raced up here have done a great job.
“Uno Five only needed a track that suited him, and he got that on Saturday and he scored a great win.
“A friend of mine recommended him as a horse I should try and get over from New Zealand.
“He has been a very nice horse for us, and I think he can win more races.”
■ The immediate racing future of Hathras is in limbo after he failed again at Rosehill on Saturday.
The import finished last at his first start over 1600m at Randwick this preparation.
On Saturday he looked a likely winning candidate on the home turn but weakened quickly right out of the picture in the 1800m Premier’s Cup at Rosehill.
“I will give the dust time to settle, but right now I do not know what to do with him,” trainer Kris Lees said.
“For a couple of strides when they straightened I thought we would see the real Hathras, but he gave it away pretty quickly.
“Maybe he just hasn’t come up and the only thing to do is spell him.
“But I will get the vet to give him a thorough going-over and talk to the owners before any decision is made.”
Lees was overjoyed with the return to the winner’s circle of Sweet Talkin Woman in the 1900m handicap at Rosehill on Saturday.
“It has been a long time since she was in such a good position in the run and she finished it off well,” he said.
“I will look for a similar race for her.”
■ Gosford’s Grant Allard, who is a rising star of the training ranks, had a day to forget on Saturday.
In the morning, one of his gallopers died while working on the Gosford track.
In the afternoon, Allard’s star Napayshini was trapped wide throughout in the Run To The Rose at Rosehill.
Napayshini had no chance and did a fair job to beat four home.
The horse is much better than his finishing position would suggest and Allard is certain to get his prized youngster to bounce back.
■ The Run To The Rose winner, Va Pensiero, is the perfect vehicle to push the ability of former Newcastle trainer Jason Coyle.
The youngster did a great job to make it two feature wins in a row under Coyle, who is now based at Warwick Farm.
For the future there is no doubt the two runs that stood out were Cluster, which only needs to draw an alley to be a certain winner shortly, and Dissident, which is crying out for much further than the 1200m over which he finished second on Saturday.
■ The Spring Stakes is the marquee race at Broadmeadow for three-year-olds.
Stamina looks set for a big crack at the race this year after his win at Rosehill on Saturday.
On a day when those up front and on the rails had the advantage, Stamina hit the line hard to win over 1400m.
The 1600m of the $150,000 Spring Stakes on September 18 will be perfect for him.
■ There was a scene in the Caulfield jockeys’ room early on Saturday afternoon that was worthy of being on centre stage at any of the biggest theatres in the world.
Michael Rodd was sitting near his locker trying to keep calm as he prepared to ride Atlantic Jewel and stretch her unbeaten run to eight.
Fellow jockey Luke Nolen, who rode Black Caviar in all bar three of her unbeaten run of 25, walked over to Rodd.
He stuck out his hand and with a broad smile on his face said: “I hand the baton over to you. Enjoy the pressure.”
■ Jockey Tim Clark has been in great form since returning from Hong Kong and has the chance on Friday to really press on.
Clark will be chasing the double of the listed $150,000 Wyong Cup over 2100m and the listed $100,000 Mona Lisa Stakes over 1350m.
He will ride strong mare Unimpeachable, which ran a great fourth first-up in the Mona Lisa.
He has been booked by Gai Waterhouse for either Travolta or Julienas in the Wyong Cup.
■ The Broadmeadow meeting on Saturday could turn out to be more than just a lead-up to the Newcastle Cup carnival.
The feature race is the Bill Turner Memorial over 2300m.
It is a $22,000 race at benchmark 65 level.
The reason it could prove so vital is that the winner of the race is exempt from ballot for the Newcastle Cup on September 19.