Melody Belle Heads 2017 JJ Atkins Field

Group 1 winning New Zealand-trained filly Melody Belle will be a short-priced favourite in the JJ Atkins 2017 field at Doomben Racecourse on Saturday after connections paid the late entry to get her into the mix.

Jim Byrne

Jockey Jim Byrne rides Saturday’s 2017 JJ Atkins second favourite Capital Gain over the Doomben mile. Photo: Daniel Costello.

Originally the stable that races the flying Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards-trained Commands filly missed the first acceptance cut off for this weekend’s $600,000 Group 1 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m).

The hefty late acceptance fee however shapes-up as a good investment as Melody Belle is set to dominate the JJ Atkins odds at Ladbrokes.com.au after her ultra-impressive Australian debut at Eagle Farm a fortnight ago.

A Group 1 winner over 1400m back across the Tasman, she raced first-up in Brisbane on May 27 and blitzed her rivals by nearly five lengths in the wet to win the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

She now chases the double last completed by Sizzling (2012), but will have to win the second leg at Doomben after the Stradbroke Handicap Day program was moved from Eagle Farm for 2017.

Recent history shows the last JJ Atkins winning filly was Linky Dink (2009), but the Kiwis had the upper hand in the race last winter with a win by the Tony Pike-trained Sacred Elixir.

Melody Belle will reunite with her BRC Sires’ Produce winning hoop Opie Bosson in Saturday’s mile feature and is drawn in gate nine in a 15-starter JJ Atkins field that takes to the track in Doomben Race 6 at 2:20pm (AEST).

The Ciaron Maher-trained last start Flemington winner Aloisia (6) and Silky Brown (8) are the two other fillies taking on the colts and geldings in the race this season.

After finishing a well-beaten second in the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes, the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Taking Aim is accepted for a rematch with Melody Belle on Saturday.

The Choisir colt won the Group 3 Ken Russell Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast two back and Saturday is his first look at the Doomben track.

Hugh Bowman retains the ride on Taking Aim, but has work to do from out wide in barrier 13 as co-trainer Peter Snowden chases his second JJ Atkins win after his previous success with Benfica back in 2011.

Second favourite in JJ Atkins betting behind the gun filly is Capital Gain drawn a treat in gate five with Jim Byrne to ride the spruik Paul Butterworth-trained improver.

Ad Valorem gelding Capital Gain has won just one of his seven career starts to date and has a tough ask turning the tables on Melody Belle after finishing nine lengths away fifth in the BRC Sires’.

He made up plenty of ground off a tough run in the Group 2 lead-up however and is tipped to improve this weekend getting out over a mile with the blinkers coming on for his JJ Atkins Group 1 test.

Other notable hopes include the rails-drawn Chris Waller-trained Group 2 Champagne Classic winner at the track two back Tangled and another Kiwi raider Qiji Phoenix in the outside alley looking to atone for his seventh on debut down under in the BRC Sires’.

See below for the full JJ Atkins 2017 field, barriers and jockeys with updated markets to open shortly at our preferred online sportsbook Ladbrokes.com.au.

2017 JJ Atkins Final Field & Barrier Draw

Doomben Race 6 (2:20pm) – 10/06/2017

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight
1 3220×12 TAKING AIM Peter & Paul Snowden Hugh Bowman 13 57kg
2 4×5110 TANGLED Chris Waller Kerrin McEvoy 1 57kg
3 5124225 CAPITAL GAIN Paul Butterworth Jim Byrne 5 57kg
4 4×11270 EMINENT David Vandyke Michael Cahill 3 57kg
5 413 PIERATA Gregory Hickman Corey Brown 14 57kg
6 3256×210 MISHANI BULLITT Chris Anderson Brad Stewart 7 57kg
7 456×15337 CHARLIE CHAP Mike Van Gestel Damian Browne 2 57kg
8 1117 QIJI PHOENIX Donna Logan & Chris Gibbs Leith Innes 15 57kg
9 32×31511 UP TRUMPZ Joe Cleary Noel Callow 12 57kg
10 4×4313 SAMBRO Chris Waller Tommy Berry 10 57kg
11 136 LORD CECIL Paul Messara Craig Williams 11 57kg
12 5×153 MAGNUFIGHTER Gary Duncan Jeff Lloyd 4 57kg
13 1381×11 MELODY BELLE (NZ) Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards Opie Bosson 9 55kg
14 52×1 ALOISIA (NZ) Ciaron Maher Mark Zahra 6 55kg
15 84×814 SILKY BROWN Bryan & Daniel Guy Tye Angland 8 55kg

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