jj atkins

The JJ Atkins is a Group 1 mile race for two-year-old horses, held at Eagle Farm Racecourse during the Brisbane  Outside of the Magic Millions 2YO Classic, the race is the Queensland’s highest-profile and richest race for two-year-olds. The JJ Atkins was first run way back in 1893 as the Claret Stakes – a name it retained for the majority of it’s history. From 1976 onwards the race had a series of name changes – the Marlboro Stakes, the Castlemaine Stakes, the Channel Nine Stakes, the QTC Classic and the TJ Smith – before it was renamed the JJ Atkins in 2013 after legendary Queensland jockey Jim Atkins.

JJ Atkins: Alfie’s preview

Speed The pace looks above average. Cocobrew Express and Lethal Thoughts should lead with Sheeza Belter just off them. Political Debate and Sharp N Smart will be well back.

Runner-by-runner

Prices courtesy of TopSport at time of publication.

10 Sharp N Smart [$4] almost got home last week and the market has come for it early. Bowman may want to be a length closer to Political Debate this week. Has won at 1600 metres in NZ.

16 Sheeza Belter [$4.60] has a different formline to the other two and is certainly one of the main dangers to knock them off.

4 Political Debate [$6.50] deserves to be in the top few in betting and looks one of the obvious choices.

9 Owen County [$10] is coming from the wet tracks of Sydney straight to the good track at Eagle Farm.

1 Brereton [$11] was 3 wide in the Sires Produce at Eagle Farm. He’s a chance, but it’s hard to see him turn the tables on Sheeza Belter.

15 Lethal Thoughts [$13] finished within a length of Brosnan last start at Flemington. You can never rule the Maher / Eustace camp out, but he’ll need to improve by a couple lengths.

6 Brosnan [$17] flopped in the Group 1 Sire Produce at Randwick in the wet, then put in a better performance and won last start at Flemington. How will all the travel affect him?

I think this race has a fairly long tail this year and I think the winner comes from the horses above. So none of these for me: 7 Green Shadows [$34], 2 Twin Stars [$15], 12 Basquiat [$16], 13 Ringmaster [$34], 19 West Of Africa [$61], 5 Mishani Spartan [$101], 14 Fearless Knight [$81], 3 Cocobrew Express [$101], 17 Tyresa [$91], 8 Heroic Son [$101].

Betting strategy

Best Bet Sharp N Smart [$4]

$4

The top three in the market look the main chances and are all very close. Smart N Sharp finished well last start, has a win at 1600m and Hughie will know how far off Political Debate he will need to be.

Sheeza Belter has a much better map, it’ll be interesting if she can settle behind a fast tempo.

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