The Group success of the Kiwis on Stradbroke Handicap Day continued at Eagle Farm with dominant young New Zealand galloper Sacred Elixir taking out the first of the elite level races with ease.
In the race before it was the Adrian & Harry Bull-trained Benzini taking out the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) for New Zealand, the Tony Pike-trained two-year-old Sacred Elixir continuing the good form of the visitors from across the Tasman in the $600,000 Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m).
Jockey Zac Purton said the smart son of Pour Moi, who was well supported by the punters starting favourite in the markets, was playful before the race and that continued onto the track where the gelding played with his rivals in the big 18-starter field of juveniles.
“He was very playful,” Purton said.
“He knew he was the best horse and he was here to play.”
In one of the most dominant JJ Atkins results in history, Sacred Elixir relished his first look at a mile racing away to win by nearly four lengths in an improved effort on his fast-finishing sixth in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce (1350m) at Doomben a fortnight earlier.
The third JJ Atkins favourite to win in the past five years, Sacred Elixir is sure to shape-up as a very nice Derby hope as a three-year-old next season including the spring’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Dreams Aplenty from the outside alley went forward to lead this year’s JJ Atkins field around with the likes of Barbass, Oink and Souchez also up on the pace.
Coming around the bend Dreams Aplenty was still in front, while the local Liam Birchley-trained Falvelon filly Heart Skipt A Beat was the widest around the turn, the chestnut coming off a debut win over 1300m at the Sunshine Coast three weeks back.
On the straight the nicely-bred roughie Charnley River from the Sunshine Coast stables of Stuart Kendrick begin to make his move, the colt a son of the 2000 JJ Atkins winner Show A Heart.
Sacred Elixir ($6) was also saved until a late run, but with 150m to go he hit the lead and speared away bolting in the JJ Atkins to win by four lengths over triple-figure outsider Chanrley River ($126) who was ridden by Kerrin McEvoy.
Finishing off the trifecta in third was the brave Heart Skipt A Beat ($126), another roughie hope getting up to finish in the money in the mile classic.
“He’s beautiful,” winning hoop Purton said after the victory of Sacred Elixir.
“He’s got a great size about him and a pretty good brain, but he hasn’t quite filled into his body yet so come the spring time hopefully we will see a nice horse.”
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2016 JJ Atkins Results & Finishing Order
Eagle Farm Race 7 – 11/06/2016
|1||9||SACRED ELIXIR (NZ)||Tony Pike||Zac Purton||–||11||57kg||$5F|
|2||13||CHARNLEY RIVER||Stuart Kendrick||Kerrin McEvoy||3.5L||17||57kg||$51|
|3||17||HEART SKIPT A BEAT||Liam Birchley||Jeff Lloyd||4.8L||12||55kg||$101|
|4||3||SOUCHEZ||John O’Shea||James McDonald||6.6L||8||57kg||$5.50|
|5||6||DREAMS APLENTY||John Zielke||Bobby El-Issa||6.7L||16||57kg||$15|
|6||5||OINK||Kelly Schweida||Glen Colless||6.9L||10||57kg||$61|
|7||11||REDOUBLE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||8.2L||14||57kg||$19|
|8||16||CANDIKA||Steven O’dea||Paul Hammersley||9L||7||55kg||$7.50|
|9||15||MEET AND GREET||John & Chris Meagher||James Orman (a)||10L||18||57kg||$151|
|10||2||ATTENTION||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||11L||2||57kg||$6.50|
|11||1||NIKITAS||Kelso Wood||Michael Cahill||16.8L||5||57kg||$10|
|12||7||CRACK ME UP (NZ)||Liam Birchley||Damian Browne||18.1L||3||57kg||$31|
|13||10||PUNISHING||Liam Birchley||Dwayne Dunn||21.1L||9||57kg||$151|
|14||14||VASILIEV||Gai Waterhouse||Adam Hyeronimus||22.6L||1||57kg||$31|
|15||18||OUR CINDERELLA||Kristie Clark-Peoples||Jim Byrne||23.4L||15||55kg||$101|
|16||8||JAWS OF STEEL||Robbie Laing||Brad Rawiller||33.4L||4||57kg||$10|
|17||4||BARBASS||Cameron Crockett||Damien Oliver||36.2L||13||57kg||$31|
|18||12||CADOGAN||Bjorn Baker||Hugh Bowman||42.7L||6||57kg||$9.50|
|–||20e||ROYAL ATOM||Darryl Hansen||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||19e||ZENDAYE||Desleigh Forster||Ryan Wiggins||–||0||–||–|