Blinkers on Capital Gain in JJ Atkins 2017

Eagle Farm trainer Paul Butterworth is confident the addition of blinkers will help the stable’s untapped two-year-old Capital Gain post his maiden black-type win in the 2017 JJ Atkins this Saturday in Brisbane.

Sacred Elixir

Last year’s JJ Atkins winner Sacred Elixir improved on a lead-up sixth in the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes to take out the Brisbane Group 1. Photo: Daniel Costello.

Butterworth’s Ad Valorem gelding was passed in at $19,000 from the 2016 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sales, before Butterworth purchased him for $50,000 at the Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YOs in training sales last year.

Connections however have recently just knocked back an offer in the proximity of $700,000 to sell the up-and-comer.

“It was very tempting but there are quite a lot of owners who mostly have pretty small shares and they haven’t raced a horse with this ability before,” Butterworth, 41, told, Racenet on Tuesday.

“I can understand them not wanting to sell.

“If there were only four owners with 25 percent each, he probably would have already been sold.”

Capital Gain has had seven career starts for just the one win and has zero stallion value having been gelded already.

That hasn’t stopped the interest on the progressive juvenile who is second favourite for the $600,000 Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) running at Doomben Racecourse on the weekend.

The youngster’s only win to date was over 1200m at the Gold Coast in a two-years-old set weights maiden back in early March.

Since then Capital Gain has had five starts including a second in the Listed Dalrello Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm in late April when out in black-type company for the first time.

Following a good second behind Mishani Bullitt at the Sunshine Coast on May 14 under 58.5kg, Capital Gain was stepped-up in grade again returning to Eagle Farm a fortnight later for a run in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

That traditional JJ Atkins lead-up was dominated by the runaway winner Melody Belle, the Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards-trained Commands filly from New Zealand beating home the runner-up Taking Aim by a barnstorming five lengths.

Capital Gain meanwhile finished fifth beaten nine lengths having gotten well back in the run before finishing off strongly in an eye-catching late effort that suggests he’ll appreciate the step up to mile with the blinkers going on for the JJ Atkins.

“I know Capital Gain was a long way off the winner that day but he was making up a lot of ground late in the race,” Butterworth, who will be saddling-up his maiden Group 1 runner on Saturday, said.

“I can’t wait to get him to Doomben and hopefully race on top of the ground.

“I worked him in blinkers this morning [Tuesday] and he was a bit more up on the bridle.

“I don’t want him in the first half of the field but I still believe the blinkers will do some good.

“He has a pattern where he jumps out and takes a while to muster and with a horse like him I always want the jockey to get to the outside.

“In some of his early races he got stuck up along the inside which never suited him.

“But he is showing growing maturity and he actually jumped OK in the Sires Produce.”

Melody Belle’s connections missed the first acceptance cut off for the JJ Atkins, but confirmed they would pay the late entry to ensure the gun filly was in the field.

A winner of four of her six runs so far including the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1200m) back home, she has already amassed over $830,000 in prize money.

Her BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes success was ultra-impressive and as such she is the dominant $2.30 favourite in pre-field JJ Atkins betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.

Capital Gain is tipped the most likely to turn the tables at $6 along with another NZ raider, the Donna Logan & Chris Gibbs-trained colt Qiji Phoenix out to improve on his lead-up seventh in the Sires’.

Check out the latest JJ Atkins 2017 all-in markets online now at Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the final field and barriers being released on Wednesday morning.

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