Mark Kavanagh-trained mare Atlantic Jewel, has made an impressive return to racing after 18 months on the sidelines, destroying a classy field in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Less than 6 months after the people's horse, Black Caviar, exited the racetrack, Kav's gem has emerged as the new Queen of the turf, and may be just as exciting.
Atlantic Jewel had been touted as a potential star after a perfect 2011 Spring campaign where she won 5 from 5 including the Group 1 Thousand Guineas and Group 2 Wakeful Stakes. But an injury ruled her out of the Oaks and after returning in the Autumn of 2012, a tendon injury saw her miss a further 70 weeks.
But on Saturday, the five year old put her injuries (and any doubts) well behind her, winning effortlessly against some of the country's best.
This included the winner and runner up of last year's Melbourne Cup (Green Moon and Fiorente), Australia Cup winner Super Cool, ATC Derby winner It's A Dundeel, Emirates Stakes winner Happy Trails and several other Group performers.
After the race, Kavanagh was about as emotional as he'd ever been, finding it hard to put his feelings into words.
"There's plenty of options, and I just want to enjoy this moment for the time being", Kav said when asked where Atlantic Jewel will go from here.
It appears her Grand Final will be the Cox Plate on October 26, where she is now a $3.20 favourite.
"She's got so much improvement in her it's frightening" Kav managed to also squeeze out post race.
If he's right, she could be in for a very dominant Spring!
The win took her record to 8 wins from 8 starts