Despite winning at Rosehill over the weekend Sydney’s Chris Waller is yet to confirm plans to back-up his promising colt Press Statement in the JJ Atkins 2015 at Doomben Racecourse this Saturday.
The Hinchinbrook colt is one of 21 two-year-olds still officially entered for the $600,000 Group 1 BMW Australia J.J. Atkins (1600m) on Stradbroke Handicap Day this weekend in Brisbane.
In the perfect lead-up to the Group 1 mile showdown during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival the Sydney-trained youngster retained his undefeated status with a half-length victory in a set weights plus penalties race over 1350m at Rosehill on Saturday.
That followed a winning debut at Canterbury over 1100m from April 29 and cemented the up-and-comer as a juvenile to watch.
Waller though was hesitant post-win to confirm a trip to the Sunshine State for a shot at the JJ Atkins, a race Press Statement occupies the second line of pre-field betting at Ladbrokes.com.au to win.
“We haven’t made a decision yet. I’ll talk to the owners on Monday and work out what we are going to do,” Waller said after Saturday’s victory.
The latest all-in JJ Atkins odds are led by the undefeated Peter Moody-trained Bassett ($5.50) followed closely by Press Statement ($6) who is a half-brother of Pressday and who jockey Jim Cassidy, aboard for the Rosehill win over the weekend, has a high opinion of.
“It is up to Chris Waller, that’s his job,” Cassidy said on the weekend about whether he rated the horse a good chance over the mile in the JJ Atkins.
“But the longer they give him, the better he will be.
“The talent is there and he can be a highlight horse in the spring but he is still learning.”
The only concern Cassidy voiced in regards to a JJ Atkins bid was the fact the race was run at Doomben and not the roomier Eagle Farm Racecourse this winter.
“If it was at Eagle Farm, Randwick or here [at Rosehill], I would say go for it,” Cassidy said.
“But Doomben is a different track and he couldn’t afford to do anything wrong and still win.
“He is still learning, and there are going to be plenty of other chances to run in group 1s with him. That was really just a track gallop today.”
Savabeel gelding Bassett debuted at Caulfield over 1100m on May 16 and Daniel Stackhouse rode the youngster to a one and a quarter-length victory over Kinglike.
Also high up the current JJ Atkins betting markets are the super-consistent Liam Birchley-trained filly Blueberry Hill ($6.50) who is yet to finish out of the top two in her five career runs to date including her last start second in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 23 and Waller’s Redoute’s Choice colt Counterattack ($6.50) who could be his trainer’s best chance in the race if Press Statement doesn’t back-up.
The 2015 JJ Atkins final field and barriers are out on Wednesday morning and will be published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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