JJ Atkins 2013 First Acceptances – 17 Two-Year-Olds Left

It seems the 2013 JJ Atkins, previously known as The TJ Smith, will attract a small field for Stradbroke Handicap Day Saturday week with only 17 juveniles left after first acceptance stage this week.

Zoustar

BRC Sires Produce winner Zoustar is one of two JJ Atkins 2013 hopefuls for trainer Chris Waller. Photo: Daniel Costello.

One of three elite level features to run at Eagle Farm Racecourse on June 8, the $400,000 Group 1 Patinack Farm J.J. Atkins (1600m) originally drew 84 nominations.

That figure has been drastically reduced with first declarations however, connections of only 17 two-year-olds continuing on with plans to run in the classic.

One trainer with a strong hand in the JJ Atkins first acceptances is Sydney’s leading horseman Chris Waller who has the top two rated chances in the event in Zoustar and Vilanova.

The stablemates entered serious calculations for next month’s Group 1 after finishing first (Zoustar) and second (Vilanova) in last Saturday’s Group 2 BRC Sires Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben.

Northern Meteor colt Zoustar is now undefeated in three career runs following two earlier victories at Canterbury and Hawkesbury respectively and looks well suited to going up to the mile.

Commands two-year-old Vilanova meanwhile is the more experienced of the duo having had six career runs so far.

Their sole win was during their opening campaign in New Zealand with Jason Bridgman but their two runs for Waller in May have both also been very good including their debut down under in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) when a nose away second.

Another smart runner that ran in the Champagne Classic at Eagle Farm on May 11 is the Tony Gollan-trained Global Dream who finished third in the race won by Vo Heart before their sixth in the Sires’ Produce.

Other notable hopes then include the local Kelly Schweida-trained Statue Of Liberty colt Octane Flyer, Tony McEvoy’s recent Group 3 SA Sires’ Produce Stakes winner The Voice and the John Thompson-trained Casino Prince colt Hooked.

Hooked enjoyed a terrific start to their career winning by three lengths at Eagle Farm in a 1200m event on April 1, backing up a month later for a second win this time over 1350m at Doomben.

They went on to run a credible fourth in the Champagne Classic beaten under two lengths and were last seen finishing fifth in the Sires.

Five fillies are also among the JJ Atkins first acceptances with the Liam Birchley-trained Locomotion, Deagon-based Navelina who won over 1400m at Eagle Farm in March, Toby Edmonds’ Gold Coast based Zizou filly She’s Amazing and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Sydney raider She’s Bella.

Below are the official 2013 JJ Atkins first acceptances, the final field to be released next Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au.

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2013 JJ Atkins First Acceptances & Ballot

Eagle Farm Racecourse – 08/06/2013

# Horse Trainer Ballot Wgt.
1 CHOISENEGGER Jason McLachlan 14 57kg
2 CHOSEN IDOL Paul Messara 13 57kg
3 DOWDSTOWN CHARLIE David Payne 8 57kg
4 EL TORANADO Maryann Thexton 12 57kg
5 HOOKED John P Thompson 7 57kg
6 OCTANE FLYER Kelly Schweida 4 57kg
7 PAXIMADIA Peter Snowden 10 57kg
8 ROMANTIC TOUCH Gai Waterhouse 11 57kg
9 SIR MOMENTS Steven O’dea 6 57kg
10 THE VOICE Tony McEvoy 5 57kg
11 VILANOVA (NZ) Chris Waller 2 57kg
12 ZOUSTAR Chris Waller 1 57kg
13 GLOBAL DREAM Tony Gollan 3 55kg
14 LOCOMOTION Liam Birchley 17 55kg
15 NAVELINA Darren Bell 9 55kg
16 SHE’S AMAZING Toby Edmonds 16 55kg
17 SHE’S BELLA Gai Waterhouse 15 55kg