A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
Former Kiwi filly Aloisia put the writing on the wall with an impressive Flemington win on debut and trainer Ciaron Maher believes she is now up to the test of Saturday’s Group 1 JJ Atkins 2017 in Brisbane.
Aloisia had her opening two career starts across the Tasman before joining Maher’s Victorian stables earlier this year.
The progressive daughter of Azamour had her first run in Australia at Flemington on May 20 over 1400m and beat home Salsamor by three quarters of a length to break her maiden status.
She now heads to Queensland on Stradbroke Handicap Day, relocated to Doomben Racecourse, being thrown in the deep end lining-up in Saturday’s $600,000 Group 1 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m).
“That race [the JJ Atkins] was in the back of our minds when we brought her over but just in the way she won at Flemington just gave us the confidence to go,” Maher told Racing Victoria.
“She’s a clean-winded horse who’ll probably get over ground in time and if the track was to be a little bit testing, it would probably suit her.”
The set weights clash will see Aloisia race over a mile for the first time and is also her first foray in stakes’ company.
Out to be the first JJ Atkins winning filly since Linky Dink who scored an upset as a $26 outsider back in 2009 on a mud track, Aloisia is one of just three fillies currently in the entries for this year’s race.
The others out to take on the boys should they make the capacity 16 starter JJ Atkins field, released on Wednesday morning, are the Clarry Conners-trained Legal Girl and Silky Brown for Bryan & Daniel Guy.
A filly is set to start favourite in JJ Atkins betting on Saturday however with connections of Melody Belle paying the late entry to get the Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards-trained flyer into the field.
Owners missed the first acceptance cut off by mistake with the daughter of Commands, but the bookies have kept Melody Belle at the top of pre-field JJ Atkins odds at $2.30 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
She looks the one to beat after the Kiwi Group 1 winner travelled down under on May 27 and ran away for a five length victory in Eagle Farm’s Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
Stepping up to the mile is a non-issue for the $832,974 earner and it will be hard for any of the other BRC Sires’ Produce graduates to turn the tables on the New Zealander.
Aloisia meanwhile is at $11 in the JJ Atkins markets and will be ridden by Mark Zahra replacing Michael Dee in the saddle.
Zahra rode stablemate Ruthven for his last start second in the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) but has been replaced by Hugh Bowman on the Domesday colt for Saturday’s $600,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m).
The stable’s other top contender on the Doomben card on Saturday is Pemberley, to be ridden by Corey Brown, in the $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m).
Back your Brisbane racing selections this weekend at the right winter odds online now at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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