Eagle Farm trainer Steven O’Dea expects the bigger open spaces will suit his filly Candika when she steps out onto her home track in the Group 1 $600,000 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m) on Saturday.
Candika was one of the stars of the early two year old season with two wins at Doomben before running third to Capitalist in the $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 9.
The Sebring filly has been running on from back in the field at her three runs back from a spell and her last start fourth, after settling midfield, to Attention in the Group 2 $250,000 Mitavite BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 28 convinced O’Dea that she will definitely be better suited at Eagle Farm.
“She has been strong at the end in her recent runs and she looks like she is crying out for the bigger track at Eagle Farm,’’ O’Dea told The Courier-Mail.
Racing was scheduled to return to Eagle Farm last Saturday for Queensland Oaks Day, but the reopening of the newly reconstructed track was put back a week when the meeting was washed out following torrential rain on Friday night and Saturday and the J.J. Atkins will now be a part of a massive ten race card after the Group 1 $500,000 Queensland Oaks (2400m) was transferred to Saturday’s Stradbroke Handicap Day program.
Candika is well in the betting at $9 for the J.J. Atkins at Ladbrokes.com.au who has the Kiwi two year old Sacred Elixir at the top of the market order at $4.
The Tony Pike trained Sacred Elixir looked good in winning a 1400m two year old Handicap at the Sunshine Coast on May 11 and then also ran on from the back when sixth in the Sires’ Produce Stakes, indicating that the larger Eagle Farm track would be more to liking.
The John O’Shea trained Souchez is next in the betting at $5 just ahead of Attention at $7 and Souchez’s stablemate Archives at $8.
J.J. Atkins market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Sacred Elixir, $5 Souchez, $7 Attention, $8 Archives, $9 Candika, $10 Cadagan, $11 Nikitas, $13 Barbass, $15 Jericho, $17 Jaws Of Steel, Redouble, $21 Dreams Aplenty, $26 Real Classic, $34 Vasiliev, $41 Charnley River, Heart Skipt A Beat, Oink, $51 Zendaye, $81 Meet And Greet, $101 Doumbek, Endless Days, Our Cinderella, Punishing, Royal Atom.