Classic Winner Le Chef Leads 2015 JJ Atkins Nominations

Darryl Hansen’s Magic Millions Classic winning two-year-old Le Chef is the headline nomination taken by Racing Queensland this week for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival’s juvenile showcase, the JJ Atkins 2015.

Le Chef

Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Le Chef is a headline nominee for the 2015 JJ Atkins in Brisbane on June 6. Photo: Daniel Costello.

Early entries for seven Group 1 races in the ‘Sunshine State’ closed yesterday, including 77 nominations for the $600,000 Group 1 BMW Australia J.J. Atkins (1600m).

A host of hopeful youngsters are headed towards the Stradbroke Handicap Day support race at Doomben Racecourse on June 6, including the Sunshine Coast-trained Exceed And Excel gelding Le Chef.

A winner of three of his four starts to date, Le Chef’s biggest success and latest start was in the lucrative $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast in January, and he is Hansen’s sole JJ Atkins hope in 2015.

Magic Millions Classic second and third placegetters Pepperano and Single Gaze are also among the 78 JJ Atkins nominations taken this winter.

Liam Birchley prepares Court Command filly Pepperano, the Brisbane horseman after his maiden win in the classic.

A striking grey, Pepperano was last seen winning over the 1000m at the Sunshine Coast on April 26 and is one of three JJ Atkins nominees for Birchley along with Havasay and Myboycharlie filly Blueberry Hill.

Blueberry Hill won her opening two career starts earlier this autumn before running a brave second, beaten only a quarter-length in the Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on Anzac Day when stepped up to black-type company for the first time.

MM Classic third placegetter Single Gaze meanwhile is a Nick Olive-trained filly prepared in Canberra, the daughter of Not A Single Doubt last seen running under four lengths away 10th to Vancouver in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 21.

Sydney’s Gai Waterhouse scored the Slipper win this autumn, and has also won the past two editions of Brisbane’s JJ Atkins taking it out with Romantic Touch (2013) and Almalad (2014).

This year Waterhouse has nine JJ Atkins nominees including her Redoute’s Choice colt Red Knot, Sempre Libera and Cyrus Rocks.

Medaglia D’Oro filly Sempre Libera has had three starts for a win and a second to date, the victory being over 1200m at Rosehill in the wet on April 1 before her brave fourth when only a half-length off Ottoman in the Group 3 Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) at Randwick 10 days later.

Cyrus Rocks meanwhile is a Bernardini colt who ran sixth on debut at Canterbury only yesterday and who Waterhouse has nominated for a trip to England’s Royal Ascot this season.

Sydney’s ace trainer Chris Waller posted his maiden juvenile’s Group 1 win in the JJ Atkins back in 2010 with Pressday, and is back in 2015 with six nominees.

Waller has entered last start Warwick Farm winner Counterattack, third in that same race So Willie, Encosta Line, Feast For Eyes, Stimac and a half-brother to Pressday Press Statement who won on debut at Canterbury on April 29.

At this stage, Waller’s racing manage Liam Prior has Hinchinbrook colt Press Statement tipped as their biggest improver heading into the JJ Atkins, a race formerly known as the TJ Smith.

The jockey aboard the youngster’s winning debut, Tye Angland, was also notably impressed.

“I’ve always liked him,” Angland told The Daily Telegraph.

“I have trialled him three times and on each occasion he’s given me a lovely feel.

“The stable are very good at knowing when to put them away and wait. I know this was only a midweek race but I’d be surprised if the form didn’t hold up.”

Prior however said the JJ Atkins was far from confirmed target, Press Statement possibly to be saved for next year’s Golden Rose.

See below for the full list of JJ Atkins 2015 nominations, late entries closing on Friday before the final field is released on Wednesday June 3.

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2015 JJ Atkins Nominations

Doomben Racecourse – 06/06/2015

# Horse Sex Age Trainer
1 ADMIRABEEL (NZ) G 2 Peter G Moody
2 AGREE TO C 2 Bevan Laming
3 ALLISION F 2 John O’Shea
4 ALWAYS SACRED G 2 Toby Edmonds
5 ART OF PERCEPTION C 2 Gai Waterhouse
6 ASHLEE MARIE F 2 Richard Laming
7 AUSSIE JACK G 2 Barry Lockwood
8 BAGGIO C 2 Gerald Ryan
9 BANDA SPICE F 2 Stuart Kendrick
10 BASSETT (NZ) G 2 Peter G Moody
11 BILLY BIG BROWN C 2 Bjorn Baker
12 BLUEBERRY HILL F 2 Liam Birchley
13 BRING A SECRET G 2 Nick Olive
14 CALIBRA F 2 Allan Denham
15 CERTAIN ELLIE F 2 Paul Rocke
16 CHARCUTERIE C 2 Kelso Wood
17 CONCUBINE F 2 Gai Waterhouse
18 COOL CHAP G 2 Peter G Moody
19 COUNTERATTACK C 2 Chris Waller
20 CYLINDER BEACH (NZ) G 2 Desleigh Forster
21 CYRUS ROCKS C 2 Gai Waterhouse
22 DANE SLUGGER C 2 Bjorn Baker
23 DESTINATION TUCSON F 2 Gai Waterhouse
24 DIAMOND METEOR F 2 Gai Waterhouse
25 ENCOSTA LINE C 2 Chris Waller
26 FALLOCH G 2 Bryan Guy
27 FEAST FOR EYES C 2 Chris Waller
28 FIRST PRECINCT C 2 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
29 HARLEM RIVER F 2 Gai Waterhouse
30 HAVASAY G 2 Liam Birchley
31 HELLHOLE F 2 Gerald Ryan
32 HOLLER C 2 John O’Shea
33 IT’S VEGAS BABY G 2 Brad Herne
34 JILLIES JET F 2 Kelly Schweida
35 LAND’S END C 2 Gerald Ryan
36 LE CHEF G 2 Darryl Hansen
37 LEDOYEN C 2 Kelly Schweida
38 LOOK TO THE STARS F 2 Clarry Conners
39 MADOTTI F 2 Matthew Dunn
40 MALAAHY F 2 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
41 MASSA LU (NZ) C 2 Murray Baker
42 MONTIGNAC F 2 John O’Shea
43 MY COLLEAGUE C 2 Gerald Ryan
44 NEE DE PAPA C 2 Matthew Dunn
45 NIGHTLIFE F 2 Gerald Ryan
46 OLJA G 2 Brad Herne
47 ONE MORE MAGIC F 2 Kim Craft
48 PAYROLL F 2 Richard Laming
49 PEARL STAR F 2 Matt Laurie
50 PEPPERANO F 2 Liam Birchley
51 PREMIERE PLACE C 2 Bryan Guy
52 PRESS STATEMENT C 2 Chris Waller
53 PRINCE OF BROOKLYN C 2 Mick Price
54 PRINCESS CHARM F 2 Barry Baldwin
55 QUEEN TARA F 2 David Vandyke
56 READY ALREADY C 2 Gai Waterhouse
57 REAL GOOD G 2 Trevor Miller
58 RED KNOT C 2 Gai Waterhouse
59 SAGARONNE F 2 Toby Edmonds
60 SALT FLAT C 2 John O’Shea
61 SEE LINE WOMAN (NZ) F 2 Peter G Moody
62 SEMPRE LIBERA F 2 Gai Waterhouse
63 SHADOW LAWN F 2 Barry Baldwin
64 SHOCK ME (NZ) F 2 David Vandyke
65 SINGLE GAZE F 2 Nick Olive
66 SO WILLIE C 2 Chris Waller
67 STAR OF NIGHT F 2 David Kelly
68 STELLA DI NOTTE F 2 Tony Gollan
69 STIMAC C 2 Chris Waller
70 SUMMER SURF F 2 Anthony Cummings
71 TAAJ C 2 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
72 THE EQUINE BOLT G 2 James Curtain
73 TYPING F 2 Stuart Kendrick
74 UNBIASED C 2 John O’Shea
75 WATCHED F 2 Bryan Guy
76 WICKED INTENT C 2 Chris Munce
77 WOLF EYES G 2 Stuart Webb
78 ZARA BAY F 2 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes

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