The first acceptances for the 2014 J.J. Atkinshave been released; with sixteen juveniles still in contention for the Group 1 event that will be held at Eagle Farm on June 7.
Gerald Ryan has included Time For War in the J.J. Atkins first acceptances, but the Snitzel colt is no certainty to take his place in the field for the Group 1 event.
Time For War stamped himself as a J.J. Atkins contender with a brave front-running victory in the Group 2 BRC Sires Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 24, after failing to fire in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) at the same venue a fortnight earlier, but Ryan is unsure whether the two-year-old is capable of running out a strong 1600 metres.
Time For War upset Chris Waller-trained Brazen Beau in the BRC Sires Produce Stakes last weekend, but the I Am Invincible colt is still a clear favourite to give Waller his second win in the J.J. Atkins after taking out the 2010 edition of the race with Pressday.
Brazen Beau returned from a stint in the spelling paddock, where he was sent after finishing a disappointing fifth in the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) at Warwick Farm on March 8, with an impressive victory in the Champagne Classic and was far from disgraced when a narrow second in the Sires Produce Stakes.
Waller has also included the consistent Country Warrior, High Chaparral gelding Sniper Fire and the lightly-raced Highward in the first acceptances for the J.J. Atkins.
Looks Like The Cat has finished in the placings in both the Champagne Classic and BRC Sires Produce Stakes and remains entered for the J.J. Atkins, while the Darley-owned duo of Carless and Mohave, Allan Denham-trained Furbish, Sky High Mount Dandenong Stakes winner Pressing, Liam Birchley-trained Sagatona and Stroak are all still a chance of backing up in the Group 1 event in just over a week.
One of the most interesting horses in the 2014 J.J. Atkins first acceptances is Gai Waterhouse-trained Almalad, who earnt a trip to Brisbane with a dominant three and a half lengths victory in the TAB Early Quaddie Plate (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Waterhouse won the 2013 edition of the J.J. Atkins with the lightly-raced Romantic Touch and she is confident she can score her second straight win in the race with Almalad.
The final field and barrier draw for the 2014 J.J. Atkins will be released next weekend.