A below capacity field of two-year-olds are set to face off in the juvenile’s feature of Stradbroke Handicap Day on Saturday with 11 in the mix for the JJ Atkins 2014.
Running as Eagle Farm Race 6 at 2:20pm as the first of three Group 1 majors on the program, it is shaping up as a nice edition of the $500,000 Group 1 Tatts Group J.J. Atkins (1600m) where a field of possible 2014 Caulfield Guineas contenders is engaged to run.
Heading the JJ Atkins field is the Chris Waller-trained Brazen Beau who has drawn nicely in barrier four with leading Sydney jockey Nash Rawiller to ride.
Rawiller has ridden the I Am Invincible colt for both their Queensland runs this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival that has secured them top spot in JJ Atkins betting.
Two back they enjoyed a tidy win over locally-trained Looks Like The Cat in their interstate debut in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m).
Then they went down a quarter length as the beaten favourite in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 24 after missing the jump by nearly two lengths.
Making up lots of late ground Brazen Beau nearly atoned for their failed jump there, the bookies still rating them as the one to beat in the Group 1 on Saturday when they go up to a mile.
Upset BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Time For War also backs up in the JJ Atkins this weekend looking to beat home the favourite again.
Gerald Ryan’s Snitzel colt was 10th in the Champagne Classic, a poor run after their previous good form in Sydney that included a Group 2 win in the Pago Pago and a fourth to Peggy Jean in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
They relished the step back up in distance the BRC Sires’ then and will be out to do it again looking well suited to a mile from the same barrier they won their last start from after drawing the inside alley.
The other major JJ Atkins player coming via the same form races is then Looks Like The Cat from the Doomben 10,000 winning stables of Tony Gollan.
Drawn in gate six for Saturday with Damian Browne to ride, the Husson colt was runner-up in the Champagne Classic to Brazen Beau and then far from disgraced when third in the BRC Sires’ Produce last time out.
The only other last start winner in the mix aside from Time For War meanwhile is then fellow Sydney raider Almalad for Gai Waterhouse.
Set to be ridden by Tommy Berry from barrier nine, the undefeated Al Maher gelding is two-from-two and facing a big rise in both class and distance here.
Their last start was a three and a half length win over 1200m at Randwick a fortnight back in a 2YO Set weights race, Almalad having to really rise to the occasion of a Group 1 over the mile then in a different state.
See below for the complete JJ Atkins 2014 field, barrier, jockeys and set weights.
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2014 JJ Atkins Final Field & Barrier Draw
Eagle Farm Race 6 (2:20pm) – 07/06/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.|
|1||15×12||BRAZEN BEAU||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||4||57kg|
|2||1×1401||TIME FOR WAR||Gerald Ryan||Tye Angland||1||57kg|
|3||119||PRESSING||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||3||57kg|
|4||2x106x56||MOHAVE||John O’Shea||Hugh Bowman||8||57kg|
|5||1×23||LOOKS LIKE THE CAT||Tony Gollan||Damian Browne||6||57kg|
|6||1×1||ALMALAD||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||9||57kg|
|7||2×4525||CARELESS||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||11||57kg|
|8||1188||FURBISH||Allan Denham||Jim Byrne||10||57kg|
|9||1125×70||STROAK||Bryan Guy||Michael Cahill||7||55kg|
|10||3436×720||SAGATONA||Liam Birchley||Glen Boss||5||55kg|
|11||97×8010||EMOTIONS IN MOTION||Tony Bita||Tegan Harrison (a)||2||55kg|