10/22/2013 12:32PM

Australian champion Atlantic Jewel likely to be retired with tendon injury


Once-beaten Australian champion Atlantic Jewel suffered a tendon injury Tuesday morning that is likely to lead to her retirement from racing.

The injury to the Fastnet Rock mare was detected after she galloped on Tuesday morning in preparation for Saturday’s Cox Plate, a race in which she would have been favored. Owner Coolmore announced instead that the mare will be scratched and is likely to visit the operation’s outstanding international sire Galileo early next year.

"That is probably the end of her racing career,” Coolmore Australia General Manager Michael Kirwan told Racing Post. “We have to get a veterinary report, but she has had an injury in the past and she's now 5 so we probably will be retiring her.

"The likelihood is she will visit Galileo,” Kirwan added. “It's nearly November now and it's getting too late to cover this type of mare in Australia. Assuming she is retired, we'll look after her and then send her to Ireland sometime around Christmas before she then joins the Northern Hemisphere broodmare band, at least for the time being."

Atlantic Jewel returned from a 16-month layoff necessitated by another tendon injury to win the Memsie Stakes, an Australian Group 1 event, in August before capturing the Group 2 W.H. Stocks Stakes. She then suffered her only career defeat when second by a nose to Dundeel in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes. She rebounded to win the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes by four lengths on Oct. 12, in what would be her final start.

In all, Atlantic Jewel captured 10 of 11 starts, including seven Australian group stakes, for earnings of $1,559,748. She was named champion 3-year-old filly of the 2011-2012 racing season.

“Well done to all involved in the career of Atlantic Jewel, an absolute privilege to ride,” regular rider Michael Rodd posted on his Twitter account Tuesday. “Disappointed not to be there Saturday.”