The 126th running of the JJ Atkins will take place at Eagle Farm this Saturday afternoon, with a near-capacity field of 17 runners expected to do battle over 1600m. With most of the runners in this year’s field going to the mile for the first time, it shapes as a wide-open edition of the premier two-year-old race of the Queensland Winter Carnival.
JJ Atkins 2023 betting odds
The Chris Waller-trained Tannhauser will have surprised a few by opening as the race favourite at $5 with online betting sites, after breaking his maiden last start. Azula and Snapback share the second line of betting at $7.50, while Miracle Of Love ($9) and Make A Call ($9.50) round out the runners under double figures. The likes of Cifrado ($12) and Chrysaor ($15) – who both finished in the top three in the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes – present value if they can run out a strong 1600m.
JJ Atkins 2023 speed map
After leading from start to finish at her last start, Azula should take up the lead with King Colorado and Snapback pushing forward to sit outside of her. Behind the leading trio, we could see several runners trying to find a prominent position with Solidify, Miracle Of Love, Chrysaor and Congregation likely to push for a position in the first five or six. The last three or four may not be known backmarkers, but they may get pushed to the rear of the field due to bad luck and drawing bad barriers.
Continue reading for HorseBetting’s top selections and $100 betting strategy for the JJ Atkins 2023.
JJ Atkins 2023 preview & form
After breaking his maiden in soft fashion last start, Tannhauser looks the one to beat in the 2023 JJ Atkins. This Chris Waller-trained gelding will be having his fifth career start in what will be his second attempt at 1600m, after he finished fourth in the Listed Fernhill Handicap two starts back. Even though he didn’t find the placings in his first attempt at the mile, it was clear that he could run the trip, but he may not have liked the Heavy going. Last start this son of Dundeel found the outside of runners at the top of the home straight and took a few strides to balance up, but once he did, he lengthened nicely to run down the leader and go past him in the final 50m. Although we have Tannhauser on top, we don’t have a lot between our top two and we will be backing them both.
We were with Solidify at his first start in Australia after coming over with big wraps from New Zealand; however, on the home turn in the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes he got knocked around and somehow stayed on his feet before fading back through the field. This son of Redwood picked himself up in the final 150m to make good headway through the middle of the field without threatening, but in those final stages he showed that the distance rise shouldn’t be a problem. Trainer Graeme Rogerson has said in the past that this guy is better than his stable star in Sharp ‘N’ Smart, who ran fourth in this race last year. From barrier four, we expect to see Ryan Elliot take up a prominent position in the first five or six, and if he gets clear room and doesn’t get into a bumping battle, Solidify will give us a good sight at massive odds with online bookmakers.
Chrysaor was very impressive when first-up two starts ago at Gosford, where he ran home from the back of the field to record a dominant 1.3-length victory over Namesake and Snapback over 1200m. This son of Better Than Ready was involved in the bumping battle with Solidify in the BRC Sires’ Produce, but after he balanced up, Nash Rawiller pushed the button and he ran home nicely to finish third. After drawing barrier 15, it appears that he has a big task ahead of him while going to the 1600m for the first time in his career, but if Rawiller can get him settled mid-field and not too far back, don’t be surprised if he is flashing at the leaders late.
Another of the unlucky runners coming out of the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes was the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Make A Call, who protested against the winner after he took the run of this horse and made the rider pull him up to avoid running up its backside. There is an argument to say that this son of Extreme Choice could have won the Sires’ without finding trouble; however, as a nine-start maiden with two prior starts over 1600m, it’s hard to tip her with any confidence.