Its A Dundeel and James McDonald got the better of Atlantic JewelPICTURE: Getty Images
Atlantic Jewel floored by Dundeel in Underwood
Report: Australia, Saturday
Caulfield: Hyland Underwood Stakes (Group 1) 1m1f, 3yo+
ATLANTIC JEWEL, billed as 'the next Black Caviar', took her 100 per cent record into the Underwood Stakes at Caulfield but didn't leave with it as the Murray Baker-trained It's A Dundeel (James McDonald) got the better of her by a short head.
Michael Rodd got his own way in front and set a sedate pace on the Coolmore-owned unbeaten favourite, but they were outsprinted by It's A Dundeel in the home straight, with Dear Demi, who sat third throughout, rounding out the places and highlighting the slow early nature of the race.
It's A Dundeel was ridden superbly by James McDonald, who spent the summer riding in Britain, sitting on the quarters of Atlantic Jewel throughout the early stages and then getting the better of a neck-and-neck battle up the entirety of the home straight.
There was just a short head in it at the line, with Atlantic Jewel losing little in defeat apart from her perfect record on her tenth start. In a race that contained ten individual Group 1 winners, It's A Dundeel was the second favourite.
A four-time Group 1 winner, all in the last year, It's A Dundeel won the Australian Derby by six lengths back in April and reversed the form of his last start, when beaten two and three-quarter lengths into fourth behind Atlantic Jewel in the Memsie Stakes over 7f at Caulfield.
"We thought he would improve vastly on what he did three weeks ago but I didn't think he could beat Atlantic Jewel at 1,800 metres [1m1f]," said Baker.
Rodd was making "no excuses" for Atlantic Jewel, who is still on course for the Cox Plate.