Sydney’s Chris Waller enjoyed his 14th Group 1 win for the season when his still undefeated youngster Press Statement proved too strong for his rivals in the JJ Atkins 2015 at Doomben Racecourse on Stradbroke Handicap Day.
One of the best in betting in an open affair for this year’s $600,000 Group 1 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m), the son of Hinchinbrook came to Brisbane for the elite level test on the back of two Sydney wins to kick off his career.
The first was over 1100m at Canterbury before he stepped up to 1350m last Saturday at Rosehill for another win, the maiden victory indicating to Waller he had a special horse and possible JJ Atkins contender on his hands.
“The way he won at Canterbury, you could see he was a special horse,” Waller said after the Group 1 win.
“He did everything so professionally at Canterbury where a lot of young horses find it difficult.
“To then get on a truck (after only racing last Saturday), come up here (to Brisbane), racing in Group 1 company it takes a pretty special horse and only special horses can do it and he’s one of them.”
In the JJ Atkins jockey Tye Angland was back in the saddle having ridden the horse for his winning debut before Jim Cassidy took over last start, and the eventual winner went forward along with the also undefeated Bassett going up to the first corner.
Another of the three Waller stablemates in the juvenile’s classic, Feast For Eyes set the pace after getting away first from the inside alley, the last start Canterbury winning More Than Ready colt leading from stablemate Counterattack.
The Peter Moody-trained, Luke Nolen-ridden Bassett meanwhile found third and got a lovely run throughout on the fence with Press Statement now settled into fourth, switched off and ready to run out a strong mile.
It was a packed field in the JJ Atkins going around the home corner, progressive Feast For Eyes still leading them round but quickly challenged at the top of the straight.
While the last start BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Look To the Stars was coming around the field, lightly-raced Bassett was trying to get into the clear but it was Press Statement ($6.50) who broke through.
He rushed to the lead with 100m to go and held on to win by a tidy margin over the fast finishing Sagaronne ($14), the Gold Coast-based Real Saga filly prepared by Toby Edmonds and coming off a win in the Listed The Phoenix (1350m) from Doomben’s Oaks Day last weekend.
“It definitely means a lot to get a nice Group 1 winner for Chris,” a happy Angland said after the victory.
“He’s been a big support of mine since I returned from Hong Kong.”
In a blanket for third the final minor placing was awarded to the Clarry Conners-trained Look To The Stars, apprentice Luke Tarrant doing another good job aboard the smart Group 2 winning I Am Invincible filly.
Angland had Press Statement pegged a Group 1 hope after his earlier ride on him in Sydney and was thrilled to see the horse come good on such a big race day in the Sunshine State.
“I done a lot of work with him through his trials and he’s always given me a feel of an above average horse,” he said.
“I thought his best distance would be a mile and he’s proven that today.
“He’s a little superstar that’s for sure.
“When he let down he stretched out and won pretty well.”
Waller will now send Press Statement to the paddock for a rest before he comes back to tackle the three-year-old features later in the year.
“The key to the three-year-old season is looking after your two-year-olds,” Waller said.
“We all want to win Golden Slippers but it does take its toll.
“This carnival (in Brisbane) has been good to me and good to my horses and we’ve got another special one here.”
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2015 JJ Atkins Results & Finishing Order
Doomben Race 6 – 06/06/2015
|1||2||PRESS STATEMENT||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||–||10||57kg||$6.50|
|2||11||SAGARONNE||Toby Edmonds||Blake Shinn||0.8L||11||55kg||$14|
|3||9||LOOK TO THE STARS||Clarry Conners||Luke Tarrant (a)||2.1L||4||55kg||$9|
|4||4||CYLINDER BEACH (NZ)||Desleigh Forster||Robbie Fradd||2.2L||12||57kg||$18|
|5||3||BASSETT (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||2.4L||2||57kg||$4.40F|
|6||8||BLUEBERRY HILL||Liam Birchley||Larry Cassidy||4.2L||8||55kg||$5|
|7||1||COUNTERATTACK||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4.5L||5||57kg||$7.50|
|8||12||ASHLEE MARIE||Richard Laming||Michael Rodd||6.3L||6||55kg||$31|
|9||5||FEAST FOR EYES||Chris Waller||Zac Purton||7.1L||1||57kg||$7.50|
|10||10||TYPING||Stuart Kendrick||Jim Byrne||7.6L||9||55kg||$21|
|11||7||PEPPERANO||Liam Birchley||Damian Browne||12.1L||7||55kg||$31|
|12||6||AGREE TO||Bevan Laming||Michael Cahill||13.4L||3||57kg||$101|