Despite having a capacity field of 18 starters plus five emergencies the JJ Atkins 2013 has drawn just 13 final acceptors for this Saturday’s juvenile feature at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
The first of the three elite level features on the bumper nine-race Stradbroke Handicap Day race program, this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Patinack Farm J.J. Atkins (1600m) is due to run as Eagle Farm Race 6 at 2:20pm (AEST).
While the numbers are down for the newly renamed classic, the JJ Atkins formerly registered as The TJ Smith, the quality of contenders is still top class with five last start winners in the mix.
The early favourite of the bunch is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Romantic Touch who is sure to firm further in the new JJ Atkins betting markets after coming up trumps with barrier two.
Due to be ridden by Nash Rawiller, aboard for three of their four runs so far, the Northern Meteor gelding was last seen annihilating their competition in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1500m) at Canterbury on May 22 winning by an impressive 7.5 lengths.
While they go up in class this weekend Romantic Touch is still being spruiked as the youngster to beat in the JJ Atkins field especially as they handled the 1550m with ease making them a top chance over the mile.
One of the main dangers in the race, so long as the track remains in the Dead range and the rain stays away, is the undefeated Chris Waller-trained Zoustar.
Set to jump from barrier five where veteran hoop Jim Cassidy should get a lovely run, fellow Northern Meteor two-year-old Zoustar is yet to finish behind a runner with three wins from as many starts to date.
After two nice Sydney wins the colt came to Brisbane last month and was the impressive winner of the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben.
Waller has since been stressing over the wet weather in the ‘sunshine’ state knowing that despite their debut win in April on a Slow (6) Canterbury track, Zoustar’s best form comes on firmer ground.
Waller has also accepted for BRC Sires’ Produce runner-up Vilanova who will start wider from barrier nine with Hugh Bowman aboard.
The former New Zealand-trained Commands colt caught the eye at Eagle Farm on May 11 when just defeated by Vo Heart in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) and was competitive again when beaten home by their stablemate in the Sires’.
The other major player then looks to be the Steven O’dea-trained Choisir gelding Sir Moments, another hope coming off successive wins.
Another winner in the JJ Atkins barrier draw with gate three, Sir Moments is a genuine contender as both of their recent wins have been during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival firstly in the Listed Dalrello Stakes (1200m) at Doomben and then again in a heart-stopper last Saturday where they just held on in the Listed The Phoneix (1400m).
The remaining last start winners are then David Payne‘s Dowdstown Charlie with the extreme outside barrier to overcome after relishing a Heavy (8) Randwick track on May 25 to win their first race back since being gelded, and the Toby Edmonds-trained Gold Coast galloper She’s Amazing with Chris Munce to ride the daughter of Zizou from gate 11.
Below is the complete 2013 J.J. Atkins field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2013 JJ Atkins Final Field & Barrier Draw
Eagle Farm Race 6 – 2:20pm (AEST) – 08/06/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.|
|1||111||ZOUSTAR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||5||57kg|
|2||2×611||SIR MOMENTS||Steven O’dea||Michael Cahill||3||57kg|
|3||2145×22||VILANOVA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||9||57kg|
|4||12×23170||OCTANE FLYER||Kelly Schweida||Timothy Bell||12||57kg|
|5||1145||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Ryan Wiggins||8||57kg|
|6||3659301||DOWDSTOWN CHARLIE||David Payne||Christian Reith||13||57kg|
|7||5×711||ROMANTIC TOUCH||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||2||57kg|
|8||144||PAXIMADIA||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||6||57kg|
|9||1335||CHOSEN IDOL||Paul Messara||Glen Colless||10||57kg|
|10||2x514x36||GLOBAL DREAM||Tony Gollan||Michael Rodd||4||55kg|
|11||2217||NAVELINA||Darren Bell||Eddie Wilkinson||7||55kg|
|12||31||SHE’S AMAZING||Toby Edmonds||Chris Munce||11||55kg|
|13||9×34||LOCOMOTION||Liam Birchley||Larry Cassidy||1||55kg|