Just 14 two-year-olds make up the first acceptances taken by Racing Queensland for the 2014 JJ Atkins running at Eagle Farm Racecourse Saturday week, June 7.
It’s a dramatic reduction to the number of youngsters heading towards a run in the Stradbroke Handicap Day classic after 85 nominations for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m).
Two juveniles sit top of the JJ Atkins ballot with the Chris Waller-trained favourite Brazen Beau and fellow Sydney raider Time For War from the stables of Gerald Ryan.
Waller’s talented I Am Invincible colt Brazen Beau is close to odds-on in pre-field JJ Atkins betting despite having been beaten last Saturday.
Two back the up-and-comer enjoyed a tidy victory in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben.
They then backed up as favourite in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) but got defeated a quarter length after missing the kick by two lengths.
Brazen Beau has already been forgiven by the punters and bookies however as they made up lots of late ground and, going up to the mile, get the chance to return to winning form.
Upset BRC Sires’ Produce winner meanwhile is Time For War, the Snitzel colt improving on a Champagne Classic 10th to beat the JJ favourite.
Despite their 10,000 Day triumph they are still outside of single-figures in the latest JJ Atkins odds.
Following Brazen Beau in betting are Almalad, Looks Like The Cat and Pressing.
Gai Waterhouse’s Al Maher gelding Almalad earned the call up after defeating their stable mate Sports Edition in a 1200m event at Randwick last Saturday.
Tommy Berry jumps on for Stradbroke Day with the bookies taking no chances with them despite the undefeated Almalad yet to race over further than 1200m.
Looks Like The Cat then represents the locals, the Husson colt prepared by last Saturday’s Doomben 10,000 winning trainer Tony Gollan.
They were runner-up in the Champagne Classic two back having won at Eagle Farm on debut the run before, then were far from disgraced when one and a quarter lengths off Time For War in the Sires last time out.
Pressing meanwhile will be given another chance by their Caulfield-based trainer Mick Price despite the Listed Redoute’s Choice Stakes (1200m) winner having suffered their first loss when a disappointing ninth in the Sires Produce at Doomben.
Other notable hopes then include the John O’Shea-trained Exceed And Excel colt Careless who ran fifth in the BRC Sires’ Produce in their maiden Queensland appearance and their stable mate Mohave coming off a sixth in that same race.
See below for the full JJ Atkins 2014 first acceptances and ballot order.
Final acceptances for the three Stradbroke Day majors including the JJ Atkins are set for release next Wednesday morning and will be published here at Races.com.au along with the barrier draws.
Between now and then however make sure you check out the ante-post Group 1 markets for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival online at Ladbrokes.com.au where your first deposit will be matched as a bonus bet valued up to a generous $250!
2014 J.J. Atkins First Acceptances & Ballot
Eagle Farm Racecourse – 07/06/2014
|1||BRAZEN BEAU||Chris Waller||1=||57kg|
|2||TIME FOR WAR||Gerald Ryan||1=||57kg|
|6||LOOKS LIKE THE CAT||Tony Gollan||6||57kg|
|11||COUNTRY WARRIOR||Chris Waller||11||57kg|
|12||SNIPER FIRE||Chris Waller||12||57kg|
|13||HOLLYWOOD BARBIE||Matthew Dunn||13||55kg|
|14||EMOTIONS IN MOTION||Tony Bita||14||55kg|
|16||BOUDIN BLANC||Barry Lockwood||16||57kg|