Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
A field full of two-year-olds having a final bid at making Saturday week’s 2017 JJ Atkins field will face off in the first at Doomben Racecourse this weekend when The Phoenix opens the Queensland Oaks Day action.
Both this Saturday’s Brisbane Group 1 race meeting and the Stradbroke Handicap Day card next weekend have been moved from Eagle Farm to Doomben Racecourse.
Kicking things off this Saturday as Doomben Race 1 at 12:12pm (AEST) is the $100,000 Listed The Phoenix (1350m) for the juveniles looking to make the Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) line-up seven days later.
Darren Weir’s progressive Snitzel colt is also the firming favourite in The Phoenix betting for Saturday at a current quote of $3.50 to return to winning form.
Two back he enjoyed a 1200m breakthrough win at Ballarat before he finished a brave fifth only a length beaten by the winner Time Awaits at Morphettville in the Group 3 SA Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on May 13.
Saturday shapes-up as an easier assignment for the youngster who looks a genuine winning hope even form the outside barrier (12 of 12) with jockey John Allen booked for the ride.
Close second favourite in The Phoenix odds at $3.80 is the flying Pardoe chasing a fourth win from as many runs this time in.
Hugh Bowman jumps aboard the Tony Sears-trained Red Dazzler colt from Toowoomba as the in-form two-year-old looks to extend his winning streak.
A $15 shot in pre-field JJ Atkins odds, Pardoe stepped into stakes’ class for the first time at Doomben a fortnight ago and won the Listed Oxlade Stakes (1200m) on a Heavy track.
Saturday he is up to 1350m for the first time and how he handles that and a firmer course will be key to his chances of going back-to-back at the track.
Third pick for the black-type on Saturday is the lightly-raced Italia Bella ($7.50) looking to break her maiden status at career start number three.
Prepared on the Sunshine Coast by Caloundra-based horseman Stuart Kendrick, the Fastnet Rock filly has had two runs for two brave performances in good company to date.
On debut she ran fifth in the Listed Dalrello Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm in late April before finishing under two lengths away third behind Tangled in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben as a $26 roughie on May 13.
She gets the winkers on third-up and Italia Bella should enjoy the extra metres this weekend.
The other single-figure fancies are Magnufighter ($8) and Cabin Fever ($9) drawn in barriers four and 10 respectively.
A $26 JJ Atkins chance, Magnufighter is a two-year-old son of Magnus whose last run produced a fifth to Pardoe in the Oxlade Stakes.
He’ll be better on firmer going in The Phoenix and has Jeff Lloyd in the saddle again this weekend.
Cabin Fever has also been racing competitively, the Gillian Heinrich & Ben Rodgers-trained filly having run fourth in the Ken Russell at home on the Gold Coast and fourth again in the Oxlade Stakes in her two latest runs.
Check out the full The Phoenix 2017 field, barriers and latest Brisbane racing odds on the final JJ Atkins lead-up below – prices courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 The Phoenix Field, Barriers & Odds
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