BRONWEN HEALY PHOTOGRAPHY

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27 May 2014

Shining Jewels?

I popped out to the trials at Cranbourne on Monday morning.  This time I was convinced that a more direct route actually existed, and so rather than take the LONG way around I drove straight up the Peninsula and avoided driving the huge semi circle I did last time.  As a result getting there was a breeze and hardly took anytime. 

Commanding Jewel was running in Trial 1.  In our house we've decided we will call her "CJ".  Her older half sister we got quite fond of when we followed her about a little bit.  Her name was "AJ".  She was Atlantic Jewel.  My little daughter was very fond of her and AJ proved to be like other horses we've encountered who seem to warm to her gentle touch.  AJ is a flighty mare, easily spooked.  Yet look at her with my then 8 year old daughter.

Jessica with her pin up girl "AJ", aka Atlantic Jewel.  Just gorgeous.
There's a little story about these two girls, "AJ" and "CJ" (who I want to call Claudia Jean, after CJ in The West Wing).  Both mares are clearly brilliant but sadly have both also been prone to injury.  The case of the older "AJ" she was trained by Mark Kavanagh and leaped to prominence after winning the 2011 Thousand Guineas and Wakeful Stakes.  A minor injury saw her miss the VRC Oaks for which she was a raging favourite.  That race was won by Mosheen, by 9 lengths.  "AJ" had walloped Mosheen by 6 lengths in the Wakeful!  She returned late in April 2012 for two victories in Sydney, including the G1 All Aged Stakes.  She was preparing for her Spring Carnival campaign when she injured a tendon in August, resulting in her missing her entire 4 year old season.  Her long rehabilitation process was rewarded with on 31 August 2013 with victory in the G1 Memsie.  She was defeated for the first time in the Underwood Stakes by It's a Dundeel, then won the G1 Caulfield Stakes before injuring her tendon again and being retired.  She was sent to Ireland to be mated with champion Galileo.  I hope she one day returns to Australia.

As for "CJ", she's currently on the comeback from a serious hoof injury she sustained during the 2013 Spring Carnival. Her trainer is Leon Corstens.  She won the 2012 Thousand Guineas, which her older half sister AJ won in 2011.  That's a bit of a feat. 

"AJ" and "CJ" are the only live foals born to the Zabeel mare named Regard (Zabeel - Nanshan{IRE}).  Regard was bought by Team Williams in 2004 for $235,000. They apparently thought very highly of the filly however after winning 2 or her only 3 racestarts, Regard sustained and injury and was retired and offered for sale as a broodmare.  A breeder named Greg Perry purchased her at the 2008 Magic Millions broodmare sale for $340,000. At the time of her sale she was in foal to Coolmore's champion stallion Fastnet Rock.  That subsequent foal was "AJ" who was foaled on 26 September 2009.  Coolmore purchased "AJ" out of the Vinery Stud draft for $320,000.

Regard then produced a black filly on 31 October 2010.  The filly was sired by Darley's successful stallion Commands.  She was sold at Magic Millions' 2011 Yearling Sale in January for $205,000. 

After "CJ", Regard had a dead foal to Flying Spur, then failed to get in foal to the same stallion in 2010.  Alas and woe she fractured her verterbae in a paddock accident at Vinery Stud.  The subsequent racetrack deeds of "AJ" and her year younger half sister "CJ" have proved the loss of Regard to be a real tragedy and makes me wonder what might have been.

These are the images of "CJ's" trial.  She ran 2nd and was perhaps disappointing?  I have to admit that despite this I enjoyed every second of being at the Trials and the rest of the day.  To tell the truth, I'm actually hoping "CJ" doesn't go to Queensland and that Leon just fiddles about her here in Victoria and prepares her for the Melbourne Spring Carnival.  

And finally, in a little bit of trivia, my darling Freelance is on her way home.  She left Bungendore at approximately 2pm.  This is an image that Tassie posted to me on FB saying "Mmmuuummmmm - I'm on my way home!!!!!"  She's arriving at 10.30am tomorrow morning.  Tazzie will stable her at Cranbourne tonight and drop her out to me in the morning.  I have arranged my feedbins and they are in place.  I just need to grab her rugs and buy some feed and do some last minute fiddling and be there to greet the truck when it rumbles up the drive. 































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