J.J. Atkins betting guide with runner-by-runner analysis and tips

J.J Atkins

THE two-year-olds do battle in the $600,000 Group 1 J.J. Atkins this Saturday at Eagle Farm and they will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Press Statement which won in 2015.

A full field will line up and it has been a spirited betting race so far with bookmakers. New Zealand hopeful Sacred Elixir has been backed into solo-favouritism on the back of a slashing run in the Sires’ Produce. Hot on its heels is Souchez which was unlucky in the same race and punters are sticking with it.

There are plenty of good value runners in the field which features Eagle Farm’s own Nikitas for Kelso Wood and Candika for Steven O’Dea.

We have previewed every runner in the field where we will find the best value for win, place and each way punters. Place a bet with Crownbet.com.au and if your horse finishes second or third, it will give you a bonus bet of up to $50.


J.J Atkins runner guide and tips

1. Nikitas: $9.50

The Kelso Wood-trained colt finished third in the Sires’ Produce and it has drawn well in barrier five. The son of Snitzel has won only one from five starts, but its career best performance came when it finished second behind Capitalist in the Magic Millions. That form stacks up nicely for this and the punters have jumped on the early value.

It opened at $11 and has been backed steadily since. The $9.50 is a good win price and the $3.10 for the place at Sportsbet represents great value. It should go close to running in the money.

2. Attention: $7.50

Trainers Peter and Paul Snowden know how to produce their horses at the right time and Attention stood up by winning the Sires’ Produce last start. The colt by Stratum has mixed its form throughout the season, but when it produces a good effort, it is hard to stop.

After running 11th in the Sires’ Produce at Randwick, it quickly turned that form around in the Champagne Classic when running second as a $16 shot. Its price was much shorter last start at $5.50, but it is easing in the market for the J.J. Atkins. After opening at $7 it has drifted to $7.50, but it looms as a major chance from barrier two.

3. Souchez: $4.60

The talented Godolphin colt was the $1.90 for the Sires’ Produce at Doomben, but nothing went its way in the running. The colt by Lonhro was very slow from the barriers and it never had a chance of winning after that. The rise up to 1600m looks ideal and if it jumps away with them, it will be in the thick of the action.

It has stayed steady at $4.60 throughout the week which is a good price and the $1.90 for the place will appeal to multi-bet punters. We predict both its win and place price will drop closer to start time so get in quick before the big bets come for it.

4. Barbass: $18

Barbass has been on the drift since opening at $14 earlier in the week. The Cameron Crockett-trained gelding is now at $18 after a steady drift and it should find this level a touch too hard. It’s coming off a last start second placing at Randwick behind Skylight Glow which was a good performance, but it didn’t get any favours in the barrier draw.

It drew barrier 15 with Damien Oliver in the saddle and it will take Oliver’s class to get it over the line. Expect it to push forward from the draw, but weaken late under pressure.

5. Oink: $51

Local trainer Kelly Schweida lines up Oink which tarnished its good form line in the Sires’ Produce. The son of Sebring ran on to finish 10th, but it was never a winning chance and it will have to improve on its prior form to be a chance in this.

The $51 win price looks about right and we wouldn’t suggest placing a bet on Oink until it finds an easier target later this carnival.

6. Dreams Aplenty: $19

Drawing barrier 18 has made it harder for Dreams Aplenty to live the dream, but there is nothing wrong with its form leading into this. The John Zielke-trained gelding ran a super race to finish second in the Sires’ Produce behind Attention and that form should run through into the J.J Atkins.

It has raced on the speed on all four career starts and that same tactic could be a tough task from out wide, but respect its chances and the $19 would have been a lot shorter had it drawn a gate.

7. Crack Me Up: $34

The two-year-old by Mossman opened at $41 so there has been some specking for it, but it would need to improve on recent form. The Liam Birchley-trained gelding battled on well for seventh in the Sires’ and the extra distance looks ideal, but beating this field would be a big shock.

Based on its breeding it would have enjoyed a heavy track, but conditions have improved and it will likely be a good racing surface. Quality rider Damian Browne is in the saddle which is a positive, but a top 10 placing would be a good result at those odds.


8. Jaws Of Steel: $21

Jaws Of Steel comes over from Melbourne where it flashed home late for third at Flemington last start. The Robbie Laing-trained gelding won the Mornington Sires earlier this year and its only run in Sydney was an extremely unlucky seventh in the Champagne Stakes at Randwick.

It was starting its run before being shut out at the 300m mark and that came over the 1600m which is a key aspect. This distance will suit, but it’s hard to see the son of Sharkbite winning Queensland’s premier two-year-old race.

9. Sacred Elixir: $4

The Tony Pike-trained Kiwi runner was the eye-catcher out of the Sires’ Produce. The Pour Moi gelding made up stacks of ground against the track bias which made the run even more impressive. The Kiwi runners have a good record throughout the winter carnival and Pike knows how to win in Australia.

It has been heavily supported into $4 at Sportsbet which suggests a big run is coming and we expect a top performance over the increased distance. Looks hard to beat.

10. Punishing: $126

Ran on well in the Ken Russell last start, but it looks well held at this level. Form prior was dreadful and a win here at $126 would turn more than a few heads.

Don’t bite at the odds as it should be paying $501.

11. Redouble: $15

This Hawkes-trained colt has come in for specking after opening at $21 despite drawing barrier 16. The Redoute’s Choice colt finished third behind Archives in the Hampden Stakes and it brings in a different form line into this race which bookmakers are respecting.

It is another runner suited to being on the speed which should ensure the pace is strong. If it can find a position one-off the rails then it’s a winning chance, but you can’t sit wide throughout in the J.J Atkins and expect to win. Place chance at best.

12. Cadogan: $13

Cadogan has been on the drift all week since opening at $9.50. The latest drift shifted it from $10 to $13 which is alarming for an in-form Bjorn Baker-trained colt. It finished off well behind Attention in the Sires and Hugh Bowman takes over from Jeff Lloyd which is a big assist.

It has drawn well in barrier six and we give it a solid win chance, but we’re keeping a close eye on the market and a further drift would be worrying. Place chance at $4 with Sportsbet.

13. Charnley River: $34

Stuart Kendrick lines up this colt which has yet to win a race in four attempts. It has been running on strongly in some good form races which bodes well for the 1600m distance, but backing a maiden runner in a group 1 is risky business.

It ran as the $1.20 favourite in maiden grade last start and was beaten by a neck. That run might seem disappointing at face value, but it needed the hit out. Drawing barrier 19 is the killer blow for punters and it would have been an outside place chance had it drawn a barrier.

14. Vasiliev: $41

Vasiliev get the inside barrier which will suit the Gai Waterhouse-trained colt beautifully. Waterhouse likes to send her horses forward so it won’t have to do any work from barrier one and it comes into this following a maiden win.

The nicely bred son of Medaglia D’oro doesn’t have much racing experience with only two runs under its belt and that could hurt its chances. It is facing some seasoned two-year-olds and its price is representative of its chances. It should develop into a nice horse, but this has come too soon for it.

15. Meet And Greet: $101

Was handy to the turn in the Sires’ Produce, but failed to kick in the straight. Based on its breeding and its current win price, it is hard to see it featuring in the finish. Drawing barrier 20 is another factor going against it. Look elsewhere.

16. Candika: $8

The Steven O’Dea-trained filly gets the 2kg drop on the colts and geldings, and it has been well backed throughout the week. The daughter by Sebring opened at $9 and has already firmed into $8 on the back of solid support.

It flew home late in the Sires and although there is some unknown over this distance, it looks as though the mile will suit perfectly. It has continued to make ground all throughout the season and it looks rock-hard fit after three runs this campaign. It is a genuine win chance at $8 with Crownbet.com.au.

17. Heart Skipt a Beat: $67

It opened at $41 and has drifted alarmingly since. The Liam Birchley-trained filly won last time out at Sunshine Coast, but its form doesn’t stack up well enough for this.

Dropping back to midweek level is where it’s best suited, so wait for a better betting opportunity.

18. Our Cinderella: $126

Form isn’t standing out and a win would be the shock of the century. Don’t bother parting with your money on this runner.


19. Zendaye – $101
20. Royal Atom – $151

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