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Brisbane’s Kelly Schweida is confident the stable’s young improver Oink is deserving of a shot in better company this weekend when the gelding steps up to Group 2 level in the 2016 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes.
The $250,000 Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) is the key support act on the Doomben 10,000 Day card and attracted 17 two-year-olds at nomination stage on Monday.
Among them is Schweida’s Sebring gelding Oink set for his fifth career run after scratching out from last weekend’s Listed Hampden Stakes (1200m) due to a wide barrier (13) draw.
“As it turned out I think it was the right move,” Schweida told AAP speaking about the Hampden Stakes withdrawal.
“The winner Archives came from barrier one, the runner-up Jericho had no luck from barrier 10 and the third horse [Redouble] had barrier four.
“In other words the inside barriers were an advantage on the day. My horse is still immature and I think he would have had problems from that start.”
Oink broke his maiden status over 1050m at Doomben with a narrow victory in early April before a third behind subsequent Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) winner on BTC Cup Day Winning Rupert over 1000m at the Sunshine Coast a fortnight later.
His last start saw him rise to Black-Type class for the first time in the Gold Coast’s Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) when runner-up, defeated only a neck, to Royal Tithe.
He’s had the three weeks between runs after missing last weekend’s run and heads back to Brisbane this weekend for his third run at Doomben Racecourse.
Schweida is happy with the progress of the improving juvenile who is also in the mix for the $600,000 Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) over the mile at Eagle Farm Racecourse on Stradbroke Handicap Day, June 11.
“He showed in the Listed Ken Russell that he is up to stakes’ company,” Schweida said.
“I have never had a doubt that he would win a good race. But he might still be six months away from being a top horse.”
Futures JJ Atkins betting at Ladbrokes.com.au has Oink listed as a $26 roughie, all-in markets led by the John O’Shea-trained Souchez ($3.60).
Godolphin’s Lonhro colt Souchez won the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) in March before his third in the Champagne Classic on May 14 and is also among Saturday’s BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes nominations.
Schweida has saddled-up three JJ Atkins runners over the years without a top three finish, something he hopes Oink can change in an upset this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Other notable BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes nominees for the weekend include Peter & Paul Snowden’s Champagne Classic runner-up Attention who has Group 3 winning form in Sydney, stablemate Jericho who finished second in last Saturday’s Hampden Stakes and the Kiwi raider Sacred Elixir who will have Zac Purton aboard.
Tony Pike prepares Pour Moi two-year-old Sacred Elixir who won over 1400m at the Sunshine Coast on May 11 in his down under debut, stable spokesman Bruce Sherwin telling The Informant all was going well for the improver.
“Everything has gone well with him since Caloundra and the 1350 metres on Saturday fits very well going forward to the 1600 of the J.J. Atkins,” he said.
“That’s his target and Tony is very happy with him.”
Sacred Elixir currently pays $10 in the all-in JJ Atkins odds.
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