Hong Kong based Australian jockey Zac Purton will have plenty to do on the favourite Sacred Elixir after the gelding drew barrier thirteen in the Group 1 $600,000 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Sacred Elixir will probably jump from gate eleven if the two emergencies who are drawn inside of him come out at scratching time on Saturday morning when the field is reduced to the safety limit of eighteen.
At his two runs in Australia, the Kiwi two year old has settled near the tail of the field before running home to win a 1400m two year old Handicap at the Sunshine Coast on May 11 followed by a sixth to Attention in the Group 2 $250,000 Mitavite BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 28.
Sacred Elixir is currently the $4.40 favourite for the J J Atkins at Ladbrokes.com.au while Attention is on the third line of betting at $7.
Pike is pleased with the way Sacred Elixir has trained on since his last start and anticipates him appreciating the bigger Eagle Farm track.
“I’m really pleased with him,” Pike said.
“He’s loving Queensland and he’s thrived from his first-up run.”
“He’s going the right way and he’s going to love the big Eagle Farm track and a mile.
“We’ve tried to keep him pretty fresh to keep enough speed in his leg for the shorter trips, so we’ve done very little with him, he’s a clean-winded horse.”
“He’ll run the mile out strongly, probably better than most two-year-olds and we’re excited to get him on the big track.”
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Attention drew ideally at barrier two and Blake Shinn takes the reins again after having been in the saddle at his last two starts.
The John O’Shea trained Souchez, who finished one and quarter lengths behind Attention in the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes, has drawn barrier nine with James McDonald taking the ride again.
Souchez is on the second line of betting at $4.60 while local hopes Candika ($8) and Nikitas ($10) are also well in the betting.
The Steven O’Dea trained Candika has drawn barrier eight with Paul Hammersley taking the ride again while Nikitas from the Kelso Wood stable drew gate five with Michael Cahill sticking with the Snitzel colt.
J.J. Atkins market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.40 Sacred Elixir, $4.60 Souchez, $7 Attention, $8 Candika, $10 Nikitas, $11 Cadagan, $16 Redouble, $18 Barbass, Jaws Of Steel, $26 Dreams Aplenty, $31 Vasiliev, $34 Charnley River, Crack Me Up, $51 Heart Skipt A Beat, Oink $101 Zendaye, Meet And Greet, Our Cinderella, Punishing, $126 Royal Atom.