Peter & Paul Snowden’s BRC Sires’ Produce winner Attention has come up trumps with barrier two for Saturday’s JJ Atkins 2016 at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
A capacity field of 18 two-year-olds plus two emergencies face off in this year’s $600,000 Group 1 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m), one of four Group 1s on the Stradbroke Handicap Day card after the addition of the previous weekend’s washed-out Queensland Oaks.
The rails run belongs to Gai Waterhouse’s lightly-raced colt Vasiliev coming off a mile win at Gosford, while the next best in the JJ Atkins barriers is Attention in two.
A son of Stratum, Team Snowden’s smart colt is a dual Group 2inner and a previous Group 1 performer.
During the autumn in won the Group 3 Baillieu Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill before a failed 11th to Yankee Rose in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
He travelled to Queensland and has been on fire during his Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival bid however.
Two back he was runner-up to Winning Rupert in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) before his success in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ (1350m) on May 28, a race that has six JJ Atkins winners in the past decade.
Co-trainer Peter Snowden shoots for his second JJ Atkins win after the success of Benifica in 2011 and Attention, to be ridden by Blake Shinn, is his sole runner in 2016.
The only other last start winner in the field is Liam Birchley’s locally-trained Falvelon filly Heart Skipt A Beat (14) who goes up notably in class after her 1300m win at the Sunshine Coast in a maiden set weights race from May 22.
Early favourite in JJ Atkins betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, Tony Pike’s New Zealand raider Sacred Elixir has drawn barrier 13 and will come into 11 if the two emergencies fail to get a run.
Zac Purton retains the ride on the son of Pour Moi after guiding him to a sixth, beaten only 1.3 lengths, behind Attention in the BRC Sires’ last time out.
The last JJ Atkins winner to jump from wider than barrier 10 was the John O’Shea-trained Reigning To Win (2006) a decade ago.
O’Shea is after another win 10 years on this weekend saddling-up livewire hope in the JJ Atkins odds Souchez from gate nine with James McDonald to ride.
Winner of the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) in Sydney back in March, the Lonhro colt comes into the Group 1 via the traditional path having run third in the Champagne Classic and fifth in the Sires’ Produce a fortnight back.
The other best out of the BRC Sires’ this season are runner-up Dreams Aplenty for the Sunshine Coast’s John Zielke and third placegetter Nikitas prepared by Brisbane’s Kelso Wood.
The two had mixed luck in the JJ Atkins barrier draw, Dreams Aplenty with work to do from gate 18 (into 16) while Wood’s son of Snitzel Nikitas should get a dream run from barrier five with Michael Cahill continuing his association with the Gold Coast Magic Millions runner-up from January.
Other notable JJ Atkins hopes include Robbie Laing’s Mornington Sires’ winner Jaws Of Steel (4) to be ridden by Brad Rawiller and Steven O’Dea’s Sebring filly Candika who ran fourth in the BRC Sires’.
See below for the full JJ Atkins 2016 field, barriers and jockeys with updated odds due out at Ladbrokes.com.au shortly.
2016 JJ Atkins Final Field & Barrier Draw
Eagle Farm Race 7 (2:20pm) – 11/06/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.|
|1||132×83||NIKITAS||Kelso Wood||Michael Cahill||5||57kg|
|2||2×71021||ATTENTION||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||2||57kg|
|3||1x31x35||SOUCHEZ||John O’Shea||James McDonald||9||57kg|
|4||723×212||BARBASS||Cameron Crockett||Damien Oliver||15||57kg|
|5||21320||OINK||Kelly Schweida||Glen Colless||11||57kg|
|6||1242||DREAMS APLENTY||John Zielke||Bobby El-Issa||18||57kg|
|7||9×2197||CRACK ME UP (NZ)||Liam Birchley||Damian Browne||3||57kg|
|8||4173||JAWS OF STEEL||Robbie Laing||Brad Rawiller||4||57kg|
|9||216×16||SACRED ELIXIR (NZ)||Tony Pike||Zac Purton||13||57kg|
|11||13||REDOUBLE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||16||57kg|
|12||5319||CADOGAN||Bjorn Baker||Hugh Bowman||6||57kg|
|13||2×442||CHARNLEY RIVER||Stuart Kendrick||TBA||19||57kg|
|14||31||VASILIEV||Gai Waterhouse||Adam Hyeronimus||1||57kg|
|15||4138||MEET AND GREET||John & Chris Meagher||James Orman (a)||20||57kg|
|16||113×364||CANDIKA||Steven O’dea||Paul Hammersley||8||55kg|
|17||23266×21||HEART SKIPT A BEAT||Liam Birchley||TBA||14||55kg|
|18||3248×4||OUR CINDERELLA||Kristie Clark-Peoples||TBA||17||55kg|
|19e||4×610||ZENDAYE||Desleigh Forster||Ryan Wiggins||12||57kg|
|20e||45||ROYAL ATOM||Darryl Hansen||TBA||7||57kg|