JJ Atkins Hopes Head 2014 Ken Russell Memorial Classic Nominations

A host of JJ Atkins-bound juveniles are nominated for the Ken Russell Memorial Classic 2014 at the Gold Coast Racecourse this weekend which runs as one of three Group features for AD Hollindale Stakes Day.

Aimee

Talented two-year-old Aimee looks one of the top chances for the 2014 Ken Russell Memorial Classic on Saturday. Photo: Daniel Costello.

There are 20 two-year-olds making up the nominations for this year’s $125,000 Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m), many of which are hoping to make the grade later this season for a shot at the $500,000 Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm.

Run on Stradbroke Handicap Day, June 7, the JJ Atkins is the grand final goal for the winter’s best youngsters and the winner could be among the Ken Russell nominees for this Saturday.

One of those in flying form is the Noel Doyle-trained local Aimee.

The Exceedingly Good filly is just that having won three of her five starts to date.

Her trio of wins has all come in her three most recent runs too with back-to-back Brisbane wins in February followed by a Gold Coast success from mid-March.

She’s also won a Deagon trial since then and so will be one of the best in betting if accepted.

Some of the other better performing locals in the mix include Gillian Heinrich’s in-form Wilander gelding Deuced and Denman filly Grapevine coming off two Brisbane runs for Bryan Guy.

Murwillumbah-based trainer Matthew Dunn meanwhile has a trio of Ken Russell Memorial Classic entries this year with Freezethemillions, well-bred Not A Single Doubt filly Hollywood Barbie coming off a debut win at home and the unraced Tiger By The Tale who has had two Gold Coast trials this April.

Other notable hopes then include the improving Pat Duff-trained colt Our Rock O’Reilly, Liam Birchely’s Real Saga filly Sagatonam consistent Toowoomba-based gelding Sovereign Son who is two from three so far and the Gary Portelli-trained Sydney visitor Runkle.

Real Saga colt Runkel has had just the one run when debuting at Kensington on April 21 to run third behind Sarajevo and Burning Passion.

They will have learnt a lot there and Portelli has confirmed the JJ Atkins as the end-of-prep aim.

“Long term, we’re aiming him at the J.J. Atkins,” he told The Courier Mail.

The full Ken Russell Memorial Classic 2014 nominations are listed below with Gold Coast final fields due out on Wednesday.

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2014 Ken Russell Memorial Classic Nominations

Gold Coast Racecourse – 03/05/2014

# Horse Trainer
1 AIMEE Noel J Doyle
2 CHOC MOUNTAIN Ben Ahrens
3 DESTINY’S GENERAL Steven Phelps
4 DEUCED Gillian Heinrich
5 FREEZETHEMILLIONS Matthew Dunn
6 GOODBYE KEVIN Anthony Honess
7 GRAPEVINE Bryan Guy
8 HOLLYWOOD BARBIE Matthew Dunn
9 JUST A SINGLE GIRL Stuart Kendrick
10 LAREBIL Les Kelly
11 LUCKY TOM Harold Norman
12 OUR ROCK O’REILLY Pat Duff
13 OUTBACK SAGA Stewart Mackinnon
14 POWER DE TED Helen Page
15 RUNKLE Gary Portelli
16 RYAN’S ROGUE Les Kelly
17 SAGATONA Liam Birchley
18 SARISARA Rex Lipp
19 SOVEREIGN SON Tony Sears
20 TIGER BY THE TALE Matthew Dunn

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