Chris Waller’s gun two-year-old Brazen Boy is in peak condition ahead of Saturday’s 2014 JJ Atkins at Eagle Farm Racecourse where the lightly-raced colt is set to start the short priced favourite.
Already the son of I Am Invincible is nearing odds-on territory in the markets for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Tatts Group J.J. Atkins (1600m), which runs as Stradbroke Handicap Day Race 6 at 2:20pm.
There are 11 two-year-olds in the mix for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival classic that’s thrown up a spring Caulfield Guineas contender or two over the years.
Clear favourite at a firm $2.05 is Brazen Beau who won the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben two back.
They had a chance to win their final lead-up then in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on May 24 but missed the kick before going down just a quarter length to Time For War.
That’s a run they’re tipped to atone for in the Group 1 on Saturday however with the step up to a mile with more space at Eagle Farm two pluses.
Waller is also confident the bookies have it right knowing he’s got the horse at peak fitness for their elite level assignment.
“Brazen Beau’s campaign is coming along nicely, he’ll be peaking on Saturday and that gives me the confidence to say he’ll be very hard to beat,’’ Waller told The Daily Telegraph.
“Take nothing away from the winner (Time For War) who beat him home last time; he did a good job and deservedly won the race.
“But the next best run was certainly our horse, he overcame a bad start and he finished it off nicely.
“I think the mile will be fine, and if anything it might help him. He’s not a jump-and-run horse, he’s happy to settle.
“This race has been good to us. It’s a great race for the late maturers, which is what Brazen Beau is.”
After Brazen Beau the bookmakers are having a harder time separating the rest of the field with four other single figure chances in JJ Atkins betting.
Second pick at $4.60 is the undefeated Gai Waterhouse-trained Almalad, another Sydney raider, who jumps from barrier nine with Tommy Berry in the saddle.
A winner of both their starts in Sydney the Al Maher gelding makes their interstate debut here and will have to be at their best as they see further than 1200m for the first time and also have their maiden Black Type run.
The next best in betting at $8.50 is then Pressing with a nice barrier three draw and Damien Oliver riding.
Mick Price’s visiting Victorian kicked off their career with back-to-back Caulfield wins over 1200m this autumn, including the Listed Redoute’s Choice Stakes on May 3.
They jumped one of the shorties in the markets then for the BRC Sires’ Produce last time out but were a disappointing ninth when beaten six and a half lengths.
Rounding out those under $10 are then the rails-drawn Sires Produce winner Time For War and early market mover Looks Like The Cat at $9.
Time For War was at a juicy $15 for their upset over Brazen Beau last time out and look every chance again here with the same barrier (one) that they won that form.
A Group 2 winner in Sydney having taken out the Pago Pago Stakes in March, Time For War is also already Group 1 performed having finished a credible fourth behind Peggy Jean in the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes in April.
Looks Like The Cat meanwhile represents the local juveniles being prepared by Tony Gollan who saddles up his ‘Boom Brothers’ again in Saturday’s $1.36 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).
The Husson colt has gate six on Saturday with Damian Browne retaining the ride after guiding them to their second in the Champagne Classic and third in the BRC Sires’ Produce where they were beaten under two lengths both times.
The full JJ Atkins 2014 odds are listed below, fixed win prices available online to Ladbrokes.com.au customers.
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