Second favourite for Saturday week’s juvenile feature in Brisbane, the Gai Waterhouse-trained Almalad has arrived safely in Queensland ahead of their 2014 JJ Atkinsbid.
The Al Maher two-year-old occupies the second line of betting for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m), the Stradbroke Handicap Day classic to run at Eagle Farm on June 7 as one of three elite levels on the card.
Paying $6 in JJ Atkins pre-field odds firmly led by Brazen Beau ($2.30), Almalad is now in the sunshine state having arrived from Sydney today ready to prepare for the weekend’s showdown.
Chris Waller’s favourite Brazen Beau also hails from Sydney.
The I Am Invincible colt retained their JJ Atkins favouritism despite having lost to Time For War in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday.
That was a run the bookies are willing to forgive the Champagne Classic winner for as they made up plenty of late ground after missing the start and jumping about two lengths off the rest of the field.
As for Waterhouse’s up-and-comer Almalad, they also ran on the weekend but at home in Sydney.
There at Randwick they backed up from a win on debut five months before at the end of December to post an impressive three and a half length victory over the fellow Waterhouse-trained Sports Edition in a 2YO Plate over 1200m.
It’ll be a genuine test this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival for Almalad in the JJ Atkins then as they step up from 1200m to a mile and race for the first time in stakes company.
Their Hall of Fame trainer though remains unfazed and believes they have a big future ahead of them starting on Saturday.
She’s taken Almalad along the same path as she did Kabayan two years ago.
In 2012 Haradasun gelding Kabayan, sold at the end of that year to race in Hong Kong where they’ve won just one of their 12 starts for trainer John Moore, ran second over 1200m at Rosehill a fortnight out from the then named TJ Smith.
Then in the big one they crossed by the narrowest of margins finishing a nostril flare off the winner Sizzling.
Waterhouse will also be represented by a trio of three-year-olds in this Saturday’s $350,000 Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m).
The JJ Atkins 2014 first acceptances will be taken on Wednesday along with those for the Queensland Derby and Stradbroke Handicap running on the same day.
But before those narrow down the list of potential starters, if there’s a horse you fancy bet online now with Ladbrokes.com.au and get them at their current juicy futures price!