Kiwi colt Qiji Phoenix has been scratched from the Group 1 $600,000 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Doomben on Saturday after developing a respiratory problem.
Sky Racing’s Andrew Bensley has reported on twitter that trainer Donna Logan has scratched Qiji Phoenix after the Not A Single Doubt youngster was found to have some mucus discharge this morning.
Logan, who trains in partnership with Chris Gibbs at Ruakaka in New Zealand, was disappointed that Qiji Phoenix had drawn the outside barrier in the fifteen horse J.J. Atkins field but the colt will now avoid a tough run from the awkward starting point.
“His barrier of 15 makes it virtually impossible,” Logan had told the New Zealand Racing Desk.
“From where they start at Doomben it’s just too tough.
“I don’t want to devalue or hurt him with a gut-buster from that draw when he’s got a really bright three-year-old career ahead of him.”
Qiji Phoenix was the winner of three from three in New Zealand and headed to Brisbane after winning the Listed NZ$50,000 Diamond Lodge Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie in New Zealand on April 22.
At his only run in Australia Qiji Phoenix failed to handle the shifty sand surface at Eagle Farm to finish seventh to Melody Belle in the Group 2 $250,000 Mitavite BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on May 27.
Qiji Phoenix was marked at $11 for the J.J. Atkins at Ladbrokes.com.au on Friday morning before being scratched and his withdrawal won’t disrupt the betting to a great extent.
Kiwi filly Melody Belle dominates the betting at $1.90 with her nearest rival being the Eagle Farm trained Capital Gain at $8.50 and the Team Snowden trained Taking Aim at $9.
Melody Belle is the winner of four of her six starts and includes her victory in the Group 1 NZ$225,000 Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni in New Zealand on April 1 and her last start win in the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes.