Cranbourne horseman Robbie Laing is confident his smart youngster Jaws Of Steel can atone for an unplaced Group 1 run in Sydney earlier this campaign when he steps back up to elite level company in Saturday’s 2016 JJ Atkins in Brisbane.
The two-year-old son of Sharkbite is one of 25 juveniles still entered for the $600,000 Group 1 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m), one of four Group 1 features on the Eagle Farm card on the weekend after the addition of the rescheduled Queensland Oaks.
The mile Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival classic will be the second foray in Group 1 class for Jaws Of Steel who endured interference for a luckless seventh behind Prized Icon at Randwick in mid-April’s Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m).
He has had the one run since at Flemington when third to Sebring Dream over 1400m on May 21 ahead of his Queensland debut in the JJ Atkins on the weekend.
Laing believes Jaws Of Steel should’ve finished closer in the Champagne Stakes and that he is a livewire hope of making amends in another Group 1 1600m feature on Saturday.
“His run in the Champagne Stakes is one we’ll just never know what the result was going to be,” Laing told Racing Victoria.
“He flew into the race and clipped heels and nearly fell at the 200m.
“Some say he may have won, I reckon he would’ve run in the top three or four for sure.”
Since his fast-finishing Flemington effort last month, Laing said Jaws Of Steel has only improved and has enjoyed being in the Sunshine State despite not seeing much of the famous Queensland sun.
After last Saturday’s Eagle Farm wash out, the course is currently in the Soft-range and that only further improves Jaws Of Steel’s chances as the horse is bred to handle the wet.
“He’s got a double-cross of Canny Lad,” Laing said.
“Sharkbite is by Redoute’s Choice, who is out of a Canny Lad mare and this horse is out of a Canny Lad mare – so that’s probably not a bad thing going into a wet track on Saturday because they are swimmers.
“He was just always a lovely quiet horse with a good action.”
Brad Rawiller is booked to return to the saddle of the progressive youngster having ridden Jaws Of Steel for his fourth in a Listed Moonee Valley feature in late March and his Mornington Sires’ win over 1500m on April 2.
All-in JJ Atkins betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is led by Tony Pike’s Kiwi raider Sacred Elixir ($4) and the John O’Shea-trained Group 2 winning Lonhro colt Souchez ($5).
Jaws Of Steel meanwhile is listed as a $17 chance in pre-field JJ Atkins odds, a juicy price according to Laing who is looking for a mid-field barrier draw for his galloper.
“If he drew six, seven, eight and got back midfield that would be nice,” he said.
“He’s a very determined finisher, very game and very fit.
“I think he’s a really good chance on Saturday.”
To check out the full futures JJ Atkins markets and back your favourites before prices firm with the release of the final field on Wednesday head to Ladbrokes.com.au today!