King Colorado springs minor upset in Group 1 J.J. Atkins

King Colorado was a dominant winner of the 2023 Group 1 JJ Atkins. Photo: Darren Winningham

The domination of the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace stable throughout the winter in South Australia made its way to Queensland on Saturday as King Colorado has bounced from a maiden victory at Kembla Grange, to now Group 1 winner in the J.J Atkins.

In what can only be described as a major plunge by punters has reaped rewards as King Colorado firmed from $41 into $11 at the jump and proceeded to oblige with an expert ride from Jason Collett to boot.

He got into a position worse than mid-field along the rail from barrier three; however, there was never a sense of panic from Jason Collett who was able to weave a passage between gallopers before striking the front 200m from home.

It was a dog fight with Miracles Of Love ($8) and race favorite Tannhauser ($5) making strong inroads down the middle of the course, but it was to no avail as King Colorado simply outstayed the pair to the post.

2023 Group 1 JJ Atkins Replay – King Colorado

The son of Kingman had always shown promise according to the stable as Ciaron Maher discussed in his post-race interview, but he also gave credit to an outstanding ride from Jason Collett.

“He’s just started to do things right,” said Maher.

“I know it was only a maiden win last start but early on in his trials he used to do things wrong, he used to light up and switch off.

“We thought he would run the trip. We had a roll at the stumps.

“Jason Collet, an unbelievable ride. He was back further than what I thought. I was cursing him a bit early but the team have done a fantastic job. This whole year has been unbelievable and I’m very proud of them.”

Jason Collett admitted post-race that he was surprised by the feel King Colorado had given him in transit and was impressed with her two-year-old.

“When I clicked him, the amount of horse I had, I was kind of surprised as I wasn’t anticipating that,” said Collett.

“I thought I better start trying to find room and I just horse (under me) and I could make my own runs, basically. It was a good feeling a long way from home.”

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