The 2014 J.J. Atkins field and barrier draw has been released; with clear favourite Brazen Beau drawing ideally in barrier four for the Group 1 event that will be held at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Brazen Beau stamped himself as the clear favourite for the J.J. Atkins with an impressive victory in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben on May 10 and was lost no admirers when he flew home late to finish second behind Time For War, after missing the start in the Group 2 BRC Sires Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 24.
Time For War upset Brazen Beau in the BRC Sires Produce Stakes and trainer Gerald Ryan confirmed yesterday that the Snitzel colt will step up to 1600 metres for the first time in his racing career on Saturday.
The talented colt started his 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign with a win in the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) and was far from disgraced when fourth in the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m), but failed to fire in the Champagne Classic.
Ryan admits that he is unsure whether Time For War (barrier one) will run out a strong mile in the J.J. Atkins, but has been happy with the way that he has come through his win in the BRC Sires Produce Stakes.
Also coming out of the BRC Sires Produce Stakes is Tony Gollan-trained Looks Like The Cat, who will jump from barrier six with leading Brisbane jockey Damian Browne on board.
Looks Like The Cat was ridden out of his comfort zone in the BRC Sires Produce Stakes, but was still able to battle on bravely to finish third, and Gollan said that the Husson colt will be ridden quieter in the J.J. Atkins this weekend.
Gai Waterhouse-trained Almalad has been well-backed in 2014 J.J. Atkins betting markets, but his winning chances in the Group 1 event took a hit after he drew barrier nine.
Almalad earned himself a trip to Brisbane for the J.J. Atkins after scoring a dominant three and a half lengths win in the TAB Early Quaddie Plate (1200m) at Royal Randwick on May 24; with Waterhouse confident that the son of Al Maher can deliver her a second straight victory in the J.J. Atkins.
John O’Shea is chasing his first win at Group 1 level since he took over as the head trainer of the Darley operation and has both Mohave and Careless in the 2014 J.J. Atkins field.
Careless made up ground late to finish a credible fifth in the BRC Sires Produce Stakes, while Mohave was arguably one of the most impressive runs in the race and finished sixth after being blocked for a run in the final stages of the race.
The 2014 J.J. Atkins final field is rounded out by Pressing (barrier three), Furbish (barrier ten), Stroak (barrier seven), Sagatona (barrier five) and Emotions In Motion (barrier two).