Baker Has a Goodfella For 2017 JJ Atkins

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Last start Canterbury winner Goodfella is on the up-and-up according to his trainer Bjorn Baker who saddles-up the possible JJ Atkins 2017 hope up in Saturday’s BJ McLachlan Stakes in Brisbane.

Bjorn Baker

Trainer Bjorn Baker is in Brisbane on Saturday with a strong hand at Eagle Farm’s New Year’s Eve race card. Photo: Daniel Costello.

A two-year-old son of Snitzel, the progressive colt broke his maiden status at career start number four on a Heavy (9) Canterbury track on December 16.

Goodfella enjoyed a one and a half-length victory in that two-years-old set weights race for maidens and rises in class heading to Eagle Farm Racecourse on New Year’s Eve for the $200,000 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m).

A sixteen-horse field is engaged for the Group 3 sprint that serves as the perfect lead-up for youngsters heading to the Gold Coast on January 14 for the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m).

The Magic Millions Classic is certainly on the cards for Goodfella who is currently rated a $17 chance through Ladbrokes.com.au to win next month’s Restricted Listed feature.

As for betting on the BJ McLachlan this weekend, the colt is at double-figures looking overs at $15 with Jeff Lloyd coming aboard for Brenton Avdulla.

Goodfella has a wide gate eleven draw to overcome and faces some class rivals including Chris Munce’s undefeated favourite Ours To Keep and the rails-drawn Coorg from the Godolphin stables.

The Warwick Farm-based Baker said it took Goodfella a little time to post his first win because of his bad habit of being slow from the gates.

With that issue now behind him, the trainer expects a positive run on Saturday and obviously has a high opinion of the horse heading towards next year’s Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.

“I think he might make a Sires’ or even JJ Atkins horse at 1600 metres later in the season,” Baker told AAP.

“But he will be strong at the finish and there should be plenty of pace in both Saturday’s race and the [Magic] Millions.”

The Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) runs at Doomben in late May, while the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) runs over a mile at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Handicap Day in June.

Baker could also be in for a massive payday on Saturday with his Magic Millions 3YO Guineas favourite Winning Rupert racing for a $500,000 bonus in the $200,000 Group 3 BRC Vo Rogue Plate (1300m).

The undefeated son of Written Tycoon is four-from-four to date including winning the opening two legs of the Brisbane 3YO Summer Triple Crown this campaign.

He was last seen putting an imposing five and a half-length winning margin on his closet rival at Doomben in the Listed Gold Edition Plate (1200m).

That followed a course record win over 1200m first-up at Eagle Farm when posting a 1:09.42 second success and Baker has no worries about the horse over 1300m this weekend.

“I have no doubt his best distance as an older horse will be around the 1200 metre mark. But he has had two barrier trials and two starts this time in,” he said.


“There is no reason he won’t run a strong 1300 metres and then get out to the 1400 of the Magic Millions Guineas.”

Winning Rupert is odds-on to continue his winning ways in the BJ McLachlan Stakes.

About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the horseracing.com.au team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.


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