The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained King Colorado has added enormously to his future value at stud with the beautifully-bred colt making a massive step-up in grade to score an upset in the 2023 J.J. Atkins results in Brisbane.
The lightly-raced son of Kingman won the Group 1 $1 million J.J. Atkins (1600m) over the Eagle Farm mile on Stradbroke Handicap Day at just his third career start coming off a Kembla Grange maiden success.
“We thought obviously he’s come off a maiden,” co-trainer Maher told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“He’s always shown ability, but just he’s developed as a horse.
“We thought he’d run the distance. He’s beautifully bred.”
King Colorado proved his potential heading to the sunshine state and was given a perfectly-timed ride by Jason Collett who celebrated his sixth Group 1 success.
For powerhouse training team Maher & Eustace the J.J. Atkins result saw them take out their 26th Group 1 trophy as a partnership.
King Colorado was around 40/1 in J.J. Atkins betting earlier in the day before a big late move on the up-and-comer, owned by a huge syndicate group, was smashed by the punters into $18 at Ladbrokes.com.au at time of jump.
Collett got further back from a good gate three draw then expected but didn’t panic and allowed the horse to find his groove as Snapback led the J.J. Atkins field around.
“Jason Collett gave him a beautiful ride,” Maher said.
“He got back further than what I imagined, but that’s Jase, cool, calm and collected.
“It was beautiful to watch. How good.”
Snapback was just in front turning for home leading onto the straight before Collett burst through aboard the eventual J.J. Atkins winner.
King Colorado hit the front inside the final furlong and won the Group 1 running away.
“Obviously it was a massive step-up and an unbelievable thrill,” Maher added.
“Look at him, a ripper!
“So proud of the team.
“It’s what it’s all about.”
Brave in second was the Paul Messara-trained Dundeel filly Miracle Of Love who also came off a maiden win at Doomben last time out.
In third to complete the J.J. Atkins trifecta was another Dundeel progeny, the Chris Waller-trained colt Tannhauser who finished off well after being caught wide and back throughout.
There looks plenty of upcoming options for the untapped King Colorado who is sure to target some of the bigger Group 1s for his age over the spring later in the year.
2023 J.J. Atkins Results & Finishing Order
|1||12||KING COLORADO||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jason Collett||3||57kg||$14|
|2||17||MIRACLE OF LOVE||Paul Messara||Michael Dee||0.91L||9||55kg||$7.50|
|3||6||TANNHAUSER||Chris Waller||James McDonald||2.22L||6||57kg||$4.80F|
|4||15||MISS JOELENE||Kelly Schweida||James Orman||2.33L||12||55kg (cd 55.5kg)||$41|
|5||3||SNAPBACK||Peter & Paul Snowden||Mark Zahra||3.74L||10||57kg||$6.50|
|6||1||CIFRADO||Rex Lipp||Damien Thornton||4.54L||7||57kg||$11|
|7||2||CHRYSAOR||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||5.46L||15||57kg||$16|
|8||5||CONGREGATION||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||5.78L||5||57kg||$15|
|9||4||MAKE A CALL||Peter & Paul Snowden||Sam Clipperton||6.32L||13||57kg||$17|
|10||11||PURVEYOR||Bevan Laming||Michael Cahill||6.74L||8||57kg||$101|
|11||10||SOLIDIFY (NZ)||Graeme & Deborah Rogerson||Ryan Elliot (a)||7.37L||4||57kg||$19|
|12||14||AZULA||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||9.49L||11||55kg||$5.50|
|13||13||TRIFLING||Helen Page||Ben Thompson||9.96L||2||55kg||$61|
|14||8||CHEVRON||Kristen Buchanan||Craig Williams||10L||16||57kg||$51|
|15||7||FELIX THE SCAT||Peter & Will Hulbert||Mark Du Plessis||11.47L||14||57kg||$201|
|16||9||CALIFORNIAN||Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou||Ryan Maloney||11.87L||1||57kg||$18|
|17||16||WITHIN REASON||Desleigh Forster||Ms Linda Meech||16.71L||17||55kg||$201|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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