The Follow Files: NZ raider ready for JJ Atkins next start

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Last Saturday we had Group 1 racing at Eagle Farm, while there were also meetings held at Randwick, Sandown, Murray Bridge and Belmont. In this week’s edition of The Follow Files, we have highlighted three runners from the weekend that we will be keeping an eye on at their next start.

Eagle Farm – Queensland Derby Day

Track rating: Good 4
Rail position: True entire circuit

Race 6: Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) | Time: 1:23.88

  • Horse to follow: Solidify (9th)

Graeme & Deborah Rogerson brought their progressive two-year-old colt Solidify across the ditch to run in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes at Eagle Farm, but things didn’t quite go to plan for the son of Redwood. After getting a near-perfect run in the middle of the pack with cover, jockey Ryan Elliot was inconvenienced and was lucky to stay on his feet. After being knocked off balance and losing all momentum, Solidify couldn’t pick himself up and ultimately finished in ninth place. Forget about the run — it was basically a paid barrier trial in the end, and he will be much better for it when he lines up next start at the same track.

When to bet: The Rogersons brought Solidify to Queensland to run in the BRC Sires’ Produce and then push on to Group 1 JJ Atkins on June 10. Considering he got no luck in the final 300m of the Sires’ Produce and wasn’t pushed to the line, we expect the colt to be at his peak for his target race.

Race 8: Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup (1300m) | Time: 1:16.11

  • Horse to follow: Converge (2nd)

Converge from the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained produced one of the better runs on the day in the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup at Eagle Farm, where he ran home along the inside running rail to finish second behind Think About It. Bott was asked how forward his gelding was ahead of the race and he thought that he wouldn’t win, as they were preparing him to peak next start in the Stradbroke Handicap. Outside of Joseph Pride and the owners of Think About It, Bott and Waterhouse would have been the happiest people on course after their son of Frankel ran well above expectations.

When to bet: Converge sits 19th in the ballot for the Stradbroke Handicap, which should assure his start in the race. Going into the 1400m Group 1 contest second-up, he should be very hard to beat. When second-up last preparation, he was beaten by Anamoe and Fangirl, which is far better form than any other runner he will meet on June 10.

Randwick – Cancer Foundation Raceday

Track rating: Soft 5
Rail position: True entire circuit

Race 1: 2YO Handicap (1400m) | Time: 1:24.12

  • Horse to follow: Tannhauser (1st)

Chris Waller appears to have one of the JJ Atkins favourites in Chrysaor; however, the team may have unearthed another nice two-year-old colt with Tannhauser putting in an impressive performance in the opening race at Randwick last Saturday. After racing on wet tracks at his first three starts for only one placing, this son of Dundeel showed a more of a liking for a slightly firmer track, as he finished off his 1400m race with a blistering turn of foot to nab Unique Ambition in the final 50m. Two starts back, this guy finished fourth — only 1.85 lengths off Tom Kitten — in the Listed Fernhill Mile, showing he can run out a strong mile.

When to bet: If Waller and his team want to push on to the Group 1 JJ Atkins, he will get a start and should run well over the distance; however, the step from a handicap race to Group 1 could be a bridge too far. We would be more than happy to follow this guy in a 1600m race at a lower level against his own age, so keep an eye on where he goes next.

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