Under the new name of the Group 1 2013 JJ Atkins (1600m), the race formerly known as the TJ Smith still stands as the biggest two-year-old race of the winter carnival.
Jumping as race six on the bumper Eagle Farm program this Saturday, current favourite for the $500,000 race is Gai Waterhouse’s impressive last-start winner Romantic Touch ($2.20).
Interstate gallopers have a stronghold over the top three lines of betting, with Chris Waller’s in-form pair Zoustar and Vilanova at $4.40 and $5.50 respectively.
#3 Vilanova $5.50
Has been in strong this campaign without winning and Chris Waller’s former Kiwi colt looks primed to score third-up here. Really strong to finish second in both the Champagne Classic and BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes and should improve with the extra distance this weekend. Swap his run with stablemate Zoustar in the Sires’ and would have been in the winner’s stall. Proven in all conditions so it won’t matter if Eagle Farm dishes up another soggy track.
#2 Sir Moments $8
This big Queenslander has won his last two starts and appeared to be searching for more ground when winning The Phoenix last weekend. Still doing a bit wrong and will be better as a three-year-old but certainly has the talent to feature in the placings over 1600m here. Well drawn in barrier three.
#1 Zoustar $4.40
The Waller stable is firing and it’s tough to knock what this colt has done so far. Unbeaten in three starts since debuting in April and made a significant class rise when winning the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes last start.
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