Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
The 2017 JJ Atkins is one of three Group 1 Doomben races on the Brisbane card this Saturday in the sunshine state and below are our insider tips on the two-years-old classic plus updated odds on the mile event.
Doomben Race 6 at 2:20pm (AEST) features a final field of 14 juveniles facing off in the $600,000 Group 1 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m) after the scratching of Qiji Phoenix, who was drawn the outside barrier, and there’s an odds-on favourite in the mix.
Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards saddle-up gun Kiwi filly Melody Belle who has been heavily backed in from $2.30 to $1.90 in JJ Atkins betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Opie Bosson retains the ride on the Commands filly who has won four of her six career starts including a Group 1 back home this season.
She raced down under for the first time at Eagle Farm at the end of last month and nothing was catching her as she bolted in for a five length win in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
Everything is coming up the favourite looking at the JJ Atkins 2017 Form Guide & Betting Preview.
So can the punters’ pick salute or is there an upset JJ Atkins result pending from the likes of the untapped Capital Gain ($8.50) or the widely-drawn improver Pierata ($19)?
#13 Melody Belle ($1.90)
Melody Belle is the deserving favourite and it is very hard to see anything in this race getting close to the star Kiwi. She absolutely flogged a similar line-up in the traditional line-up, but that was at Eagle Farm in the wet. A few were making ground, but probably not enough to catch her here going up the extra 200m. Chases a third on the trot, is ultra-consistent and has winning form on firmer ground. The New Zealanders won this last year (Sacred Elixir) and, while the fillies haven’t done it since the Linky Dink upset in 2009, this is a very good youngster.
#2 Tangled ($10)
Value in plenty to place with the markets dominated by the favourite. Chris Waller has prepared two recent JJ Atkins winners including Press Statement two years ago when the event took place at Doomben. This Snitzel colt was good two back winning the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) at the track, before things went amiss in the Sires’ (10th). It’s hard to say whether he can bounce back with the distance query, but no denying Waller knows how to trainer a winter winner and this galloper will appreciate a firmer track with the inside run from barrier one.
#10 Sambro ($14)
Sticking with Waller to have two of the top three past the post and Sambro is in super-consistent form. Tommy Berry comes on the son of Fastnet Rock who is up notably in grade after a Warwick Farm win by two lengths two back and a Randwick third over 1400m a fortnight ago. Is improving, well enjoy getting out over a mile and can surprise.
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