JJ Atkins 2017 First Acceptances: Melody Belle To Pay Late Entry

Te Akau Racing will pay the late entry to get Melody Belle into the 2017 JJ Atkins after missing the first acceptance cut off for the two-years-old Group 1 run on Stradbroke Handicap Day.

Peter Snowden

Co-trainer Peter Snowden will shoot for a second JJ Atkins win in 2017 with Taking Aim. Photo: Daniel Costello.

Racing Queensland took first declarations for the three upcoming features at the June 10 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival meeting that has been transferred from Eagle Farm to Doomben Racecourse.

Two of the events will have a boosted number of entries after Queensland Derby-bound Shocking Luck and JJ Atkins hopeful Melody Belle were absent due to a miscommunication.

“We will submit late nominations for both horses, who, provided all is well, after definite starters,” the stable said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Whilst we are disappointed, Te Akau accepts full responsibility and has rectified the matter accordingly.”

Without the ultra-impressive BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Melody Belle there are currently 19 first acceptances for the $600,000 Group 1 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m).

The Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards-trained Commands filly however remains the red hot favourite in pre-field JJ Atkins betting at Ladbrokes.com.au firming into $2.40 after her runaway Eagle Farm win last weekend.

Posting her fourth career success at start number six on debut down under, Melody Belle blitzed her rivals with a five length victory in the Group 2 event over 1400m on a Heavy (8) Eagle Farm track.

She looks the one to beat then stepping up to a mile at Doomben Saturday week where she gets the chance to become the first JJ Atkins winning filly since Linky Dink (2009).

Equal next best in the futures JJ Atkins odds at $7 are fellow New Zealand visitor Qiji Phoenix and the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Taking Aim who ran seventh and second respectively in the BRC Sires’ last time out.

Not A Single Doubt colt Qiji Phoenix had no luck from the outside barrier in his Australian race debut and the bookies are happy to forgive him the run looking ahead to his 1600m assignment next-up.

The Kiwis got the job done in last year’s JJ Atkins results, the Tony Pike-trained Sacred Elixir (2016) improving on his BRC Sires’ sixth to win the classic as the $5 favourite.

Taking Aim meanwhile backed-up from a Group 3 Ken Russell win at the Gold Coast for his distant second to the star filly in the traditional JJ Atkins lead-up.

It looks unlikely he’ll be able to close the gap on Melody Belle in the rematch, but if he does overcome the odds Taking Aim will hand co-trainer Peter Snowden a second JJ Atkins trophy to add to that he won with Benfica in 2011.

There are currently three fillies, excluding Melody Belle, in the mix to take on the colts and geldings in this year’s JJ Atkins field.

Ciaron Maher has paid up for his last start Flemington winner Aloisia ($13) who is as yet untested in stakes class, Clarry Conners is in the mix with proven miler Legal Girl ($51) and Silky Brown ($81) is a roughie hope from the Bundall stables of Bryan & Daniel Guy.

The other single-figure fancy in updated JJ Atkins betting following the first acceptances at $7.50 is Capital Gain, the BRC Sires’ fifth placegetter prepared by Paul Butterworth out of Eagle Farm.

See below for the current JJ Atkins 2017 first acceptances with updated odds on the Group 1 Brisbane races now open at Ladbrokes.com.au.

2017 JJ Atkins First Acceptances

Doomben Racecourse – 10/06/2017

# Form (Last 10) Horse Sex Age Trainer Ballot Weight
1 3220×12 TAKING AIM C 2 Peter & Paul Snowden 1 57kg
2 4×5110 TANGLED C 2 Chris Waller 2 57kg
3 263×111 PARDOE C 2 Tony Sears 3 57kg
4 52×1 ALOISIA (NZ) F 2 Ciaron Maher 4 55kg
5 5124225 CAPITAL GAIN G 2 Paul Butterworth 5 57kg
6 4×11270 EMINENT C 2 David Vandyke 6 57kg
7 413 PIERATA C 2 Gregory Hickman 7 57kg
8 3256×210 MISHANI BULLITT C 2 Chris Anderson 8 57kg
9 1117 QIJI PHOENIX C 2 Donna Logan & Chris Gibbs 9 57kg
10 456×1533 CHARLIE CHAP G 2 Mike Van Gestel 10 57kg
11 6100 NOBLE HUSSLER G 2 Liam Birchley 11 57kg
12 4×4313 SAMBRO C 2 Chris Waller 12 57kg
13 236×5713 LEGAL GIRL F 2 Clarry Conners 13 55kg
14 32×3151 UP TRUMPZ G 2 Joe Cleary 14 57kg
15 136 LORD CECIL G 2 Paul Messara 15 57kg
16 4215 SNITZEPEG C 2 Darren Weir 16 57kg
17 84×81 SILKY BROWN F 2 Bryan & Daniel Guy 17 55kg
18 5×15 MAGNUFIGHTER C 2 Gary Duncan 18 57kg
19 450 HOLBROOK (NZ) G 2 Scott Morrisey 19 57kg

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