Looks Like The Cat will be making his Group 1 debut in the 2014 J.J. Atkins and trainer Tony Gollan is hoping that the talented colt can turn-the-tables on Time For War and Brazen Beau in the $500,000 race on Saturday.
Looks Like The Cat made his racing debut with a comfortable win in the XXXX Gold Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm on February 8 and stamped himself as a leading contender for the J.J. Atkins by finishing second in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben on May 10 and third in the Group 2 BRC Sires Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 24.
Gollan told Racing Ahead that the stable opted to change the racing pattern of Looks Like The Cat in the BRC Sires Produce Stakes, with jockey Damian Browne pushing forward on the juvenile, and said that he was happy with the way that the Husson colt worked home in the final stages of the race – indicating that he should relish the step-up to 1600 metres in the J.J. Atkins this weekend.
“We rode him right out of his comfort zone and it was sort of like a case of nothing ventured, nothing gained,” Gollan said.
“He drew the outside on what looked to be a very on speed track and we pushed forward and we ended up way further forward than we anticipated being.
“He looked like he would run last on the corner, but he was still very good late over the last 100 metres so we are looking forward to getting him to the Eagle Farm track and over a mile.
“I’m sure that he is going to be a nice horse for the stable long term and I am just hoping that it begins on Saturday.”
Gollan is hoping that Looks Like The Cat will receive a more favourable barrier draw for the J.J. Atkins this weekend, but still believes that the two-year-old will be positioned somewhere in the first half of what is set to be a relatively small field.
“Hopefully we draw a good barrier and that will make everybody’s job a lot easier, particularly Browney’s,” Gollan said,
“In the Champagne he was worst than midfield, but just got a lovely soft run and getting out to a mile I wouldn’t think that he would be any further back than fifth or sixth.
“If he draws good, he will get a soft run behind the speed.”
Looks Like The Cat ($2.20) is currently on the third line of 2014 J.J. Atkins betting markets; with Champagne Classic winner Brazen Beau ($2.20) a narrow favourite from Gai Waterhouse-trained Almalad ($4.50).