It was supposed to be the crowing of Australia's newest racing royalty, with 10 straight wins for super mare Atlantic Jewel. But no-one sent It's A Dundeel the memo, who impressively ran down the favourite to win an epic Underwood Stakes at Caulfield by 0.1 length.
Jockey James McDonald gave the winner a perfect ride, sitting just outside the lead and putting pressure on Atlantic Jewel before the home turn. In the final straight it was an epic battle that kept punters on the edge of their seat until the very last stride.
"It was a dog-fight. I could see her (Atlantic Jewel) picking up the speed and I knew my horse would sustain a real good run to the line so I thought I’d put it to her 400 metres from home and make it a real test for her," McDonald said.
Atlantic Jewel was looking to be the first mare to win the Underwood since 1985 when Tristarc saluted. But despite history being against her, she was expected to do just that, starting a $1.60 favourite.
"We were beaten by a very good horse and a beautiful ride," the Jewel's jockey Michael Rodd said after the race.
The two horses are set to battle again on October 12 in the Caulfield Stakes, before moving on to the Cox Plate a fortnight later.
It's a Dundeel has now won 9 wins from 14 starts including 6 group races. His prize money has reached in excess of $2.3 million. By the end of the Spring, it may be double that!