Almalad to head north for J.J. Atkins

By: Mark Mazzaglia
May 26th, 2014

Trainer Gai Waterhouse will be aiming to win back to back Group 1 $500,000 J.J. Atkins (1600m) with last Saturday’s Randwick winner Almalad.

Almalad with Winona Costin wins at Randwick to earn a trip north to Queensland for the G1 JJ Atkins.

Almalad with Winona Costin wins at Randwick to earn a trip north to Queensland for the G1 JJ Atkins. Photo by Steve Hart.

Waterhouse won last year’s version with Northern Meteor youngster Romantic Touch and says that Almalad has the ability to win the Group 1 for the two year olds at Eagle Farm on June 7.

“This horse showed great ability when he won at Gosford six months ago. I am heading him to the JJ Atkins so he had to start today to get up there in two weeks’ time,” said Waterhouse.

“He just put a couple of lengths on them in a twinkle.”

Waterhouse trained the trifecta in the $85,000 TAB Early Quaddie Plate (1200m) for the two year olds and has no doubt that all three placegetter, Almalad, Sports Edition and Ravenwitch  have wins in the pipeline.

“These horses will win some lovely races at the back part of the carnival in Queensland and then they will get ready for the spring, they are all very exciting,” Waterhouse said.

The ever confident Waterhouse said that the jump up from the 1200m at Randwick to the 1600m of the J J Atkins will not be a problem for Almalad, who is a winner at his only two starts.

“It won’t worry him,” Waterhouse said.

“He is a very, very exciting horse.”

Waterhouse was also quick to praise the winning ride of young apprentice Winona Costin who is set to make the move from Kembla Grange trainer Mick Tubman and join the strong Tulloch Lodge stable.

“She is as good a young rider as we have in Sydney. I know Taylor Marshall has a lot of promise, Winona is just as good,” Waterhouse said.

Costin has ridden over fifty winners this season including a five win haul at the Sapphire Coast meeting back in February.

The promising young rider said that Almalad gave her a beautiful ride and she felt that he was to going to win a long from home.

“He is a lovely horse. He jumped out of the barriers well and he was enormous in the run. I just peeled him out at the top of the straight and he was home from there,” Costin said.

Almalad is marked at the $6 second favourite for the J J Atkins with behind the Chris Waller trainer Brazen Beau, the $2.30 top pick.

Brazen Beau arrived in Brisbane with a bang when he scored an impressive in the Group 2 $175,000 Bollinger Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben on May 10 but then went down narrowly to Time For War in the Group 2 $250,000 Mitavite BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday after bungling the start.

Looks Like The Cat from the Tony Gollan stable is next in the betting at $7.50 with Time For War at $11 and Victorian colt Pressing at $13.


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