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JJ Atkins Runner-By-Runner Preview

  • Brodie Nickson has provided his full preview of the Group One JJ Atkins
JJ Atkins Runner-by-runner guide

2020 JJ Atkins Preview

The juveniles will battle it out over the 1400m for the 2020 JJ Atkins after the race was reduced from the mile of previous years on the back of the revamped Queensland Winter Carnival. 

Due to the impact of Covid-19, there isn’t as many interstate rivals or jockeys challenging for the race this year as the locals dominate led by Robert Heathcote’s gelding Rothfire.


There doesn’t look to be overly much speed engaged with the majority of runners preferring to find cover so far in their careers.

Leading hopes Rothfire, Wild Ruler, Wisdom Of Water and Isotope will look to go forward from their awkward gates with Rothfire’s blinding gate speed likely to see him lead. 

Starosa will most likely look be prominent as well after leading her last three whilst the Maher & Eustace-trained Macroura looks the big winner from the barrier draw as the unbeaten filly should jump and land in a perfect position from barrier two.

Runner By Runner Preview:

1. Rothfire (14) @ $3.90 via Sportsbet - J: J.Byrne. T: R.Heathcote

The gelding by Rothesay has won five from six in his career so far with his only defeat coming at the hands of Kisukano on a very wet track last prep. 

Is unbeaten on his home track at Eagle Farm and the only real query is whether he will be able to run out a strong 1400m, although his breeding suggests it's no issue.

Rothfire pings the lids so barrier fourteen shouldn’t be a problem and whilst he's already asserted himself as the states top two-year-old, this Saturday he can lay claim to being one of the country’s best by taking out the JJ Atkins.

2. Wild Ruler (15) @ $15 via Unibet Australia - J: R.Maloney, T: P. & P. Snowden

A two-year-old who doesn’t know how to not give up without a fight. 

Narrowly went down to Macroura first up and gets a 2.5kg weight swing off her from that race, before finishing beside Isotope last start behind Rothfire. 

He won well on debut in the Inglis Nursery, however, there hasn’t been much form out of the race since.and draw is slightly tricky but if Ryan Maloney can find a spot, he will be a massive chance.

3. Wisdom Of Water (10) @ $6 via PlayUp  - J: R.Fradd, T: T. & T. Edmonds

An extremely talented Headwater colt whose only defeats have come on debut when injured behind Rothfire and when he finished fourth alongside King’s legacy in the Magic Millions Classic when beating home Farnan. 

That race has produced three winners out of the four two-year-old Group One’s this season and this juvenile is a major player. 

Barrier ten looks ideal and he has shown great gate speed so far, however the seven furlongs is a slight query and he hasn’t raced away from his home track on the Gold Coast since the debut flop.

4. Not An Option (3) @ $21 via Bet365  - J: Michael Cahill, T: R. & M. Freedman

A New Zealand Group Two winner who has been luckless since Tony Pike brought him to Australia.

He's been dragged back to last in both starts in here where he ran into the exciting Doubtland and was completely luckless in the Group One Champagne Stakes following that. 

Always trials well and 1400m looks a perfect trip, but the worry is he may be buried away if he can’t muster early.from barrier three 

5. The Drinks Cart (8) @ $23 via Unibet Australia - J: B.Stewart, T: T. & T. Edmonds

Finished alongside Wisdom Of Water last preparation and is undefeated time in with two strong wins next to his name. 

Will need to make the step up from 1100m to 1400m and Robbie Fradd has elected to ride the boom stablemate, but from a good draw, should get a lovely run in transit. 

It's a big step up here and is still a work in progress, but he has ability and should be respected.

6. Thunder Mania (7) @ $26 via Sportsbet - J: L.Cassidy, T: J.Symons & S. Laxon

One of the few runners who has a win over this distance which occured when knocking off the very short priced Starosa last start at the Sunshine Coast. 

Prior to that race, Starosa was well in the market for the JJ Atkins after two strong wins in town, so it's perhaps not the worst reference and Thunder Mania won fresh after the bombing the start.

Prevailed in a trial on Tuesday morning in fine style, however the knock is he was outclassed at his last run in black-type company at Eagle Farm last campaign, so his class is a query.

7. Spokesman (5) @ $61 via Sportsbet - J: L.Dittman, T: C.Waller

Chris Waller has had a very strong hand in this race over the last few years with The Autumn Sun taking it out in 2018 before Kubrick and Reloaded placed in last years edition. 

Spokesman enters the race off a very disappointing run at the Gold Coast behind Wisdom Of Water when beaten seven and a half lengths, albeit he was dropping back to 1200m. 

Prior to that that he had strong form around Prague and had defeated Thermosphere and whilst he'll enjoy the distance rise, Spokesman has plenty of ground to make up off the last effort.

8. Saffiano (4) @ $31 via Sportsbetting.com.au - J: M.Du Plessis, T: C.Waller

Another Waller-trained colt and he left a lot to be desired when stepping back to the six furlongs last start behind Wisdom Of Water

Was a strong winner second up when beating home Formentera and Rock My Wand over the 1400m and will enjoy getting back out to this trip. 

Barrier four is the perfect result and should land in a nice spot from the gate but he's another that has a lot of ground to make up off that Gold Coast performance.

9. Way Beyond (6) @ $151 via PlayUp - J. R. Wiggins, T: S. Kendrick

One of only two maidens in the field excluding emergencies and he's been a model of consistency without challenging the top class horses. 

Was safely held by Rothfire on debut and in the Group Three BJ McLachlan behind King’s Legacy last time in. 

Narrowly missed to Superare last start who finished second behind Wisdom Of Water the start prior, so the form does tie in somewhat, but will have the task ahead of him in this field.

10. Tick Tock Boom (9) @ $34 via Bet365 - J: J. Bayliss, T: D. Vandyke

Broke through with a very strong maiden win last weekend at the Sunshine Coast after finishing second to Wisdom Of Water the on May 16. 

Was the best closer when coming from near last on the turn at the Gold Coast first-up and is giving every indication that the seven furlongs will be ideal.

This has perhaps come a shade soon if anything but at the big price available, Tick Tock Boom has claims to being the best roughie in the field

11. Overlord (19) @ $18 via PlayUp - J: B. Thornton, T: C. Waller

Disappointing on face value last start when beaten as a well backed favourite behind Peltzer in Sydney, who'd arguably be favourite for the JJ Atkins if they ventured north. 

Hit the line very well the start prior where it looked like he was ready to breakthrough, but couldn’t match that very talented winner. 

From the car park, he will be spotting the leaders a massive lead at the turn but has the potential and this has long been the target.

12. Superare (1) @ $51 via Sportsbetting.com.au - J: J. Orman T: S. Kendrick

Another runner with the Wisdom Of Water form lines and this Exceed And Excel colt just fell over the line when beating home Way Beyond last weekend at the Sunshine Coast. 

Barrier one looks a big bonus for James Orman who can stalk the speed and he's been thereabouts in all four starts to date.

Questions remain over the this distance and his class at this level where he's likely to come up short.

13. Gotta Kiss (16) @ $27 via Sportsbet - J: S. Thornton, T: S. O’Dea

Was a strong winner when beating home Goldsborough in the last few strides then was unlucky last weekend at Doomben when forced to race in restricted room up the rail.

Has Isotope form from the Sunshine Coast which continually stands up, but stepping up
from 1110m to 14000m for the first time is the worry.

Hard to see where she lands from the gate and this feels like a shot at the stumps.

14. Macroura (2) @ $6.50 via Sportsbetting.com.au - J: A. Mallyon, T: C. Maher & D. Eustace

Undefeated filly who has impressed in her three wins so far, but none more so than her last start at Rosehill. 

Beat Wild Ruler in a driving finish second-up and continued to develop with a very strong win three weeks back. 

Macroura has shown versatility to settle anywhere in the field and looks to be the major winner following the barrier draw for the powerful Maher & Eustace stable.

15. Cosmic Gossip (17) @ $81 via Sportsbet - J: D. Smith, T: S. Kendrick

Was a good winner last start at Eagle Farm but that was against a weaker grade and that was run to suit. 

The bad draw will force her to go back to near last under Dale Smith and her turn of foot versus these appears to be lacking.

Should find this a little too slick.

16. Minjee (20) @ $51 via Bet365 - J: B. Spriggs, T: R. Heathcote

Scored two fantastic wins off driving finishes to nail Snappy Reply on the line both times before a gap between runs then heading to the Gold Coast.

Disappointed behind Wisdom Of Water at the Gold Coast on that occasion and was was a little unlucky last weekend behind September Run at Doomben.

Looks as though she will eat up the 1400m and was likely heading back anyway, so she isn't hopeless at a long quote.

17. Isotope (13) @ $6.50 via Sportsbet - J: B. Nothdurft, T: T. Gollan

Professional filly who impressed first two runs this prep before running well behind Rothfire, with that race run to suit the winner. 

Sticky date but can go forward and take a sit behind the speed and should improve after going a four week break leading into that last attempt.

Somewhat of a query stepping up in distance but with potentially a more favorable race shape, she's definitely a leading hope.

18. Starosa (11) @ $51 via Unibet Australia - J: J. Innes Jnr, T: T. Gollan

Was very prominent in the early markets for the race before failing at prohibitively short odds at the Sunshine Coast behind Thunder Mania. 

She won well two starts prior and gets the services of Doncaster winning rider James Innes Jnr. 

Can put herself into the race early but with that last start flop, there's definite queries about her handling the pressure at this level.


We're with Rothfire to win the Group One JJ Atkins on Saturday with a four unit play.

Also, we're boxing up Rothfire, Wild Ruler, Wisdom Of Water and Tick Tock Boom in a trifecta for one unit.

JJ Atkins Tip: Rothfire To Win @3.90 at Sportsbet - 4 Units
JJ Atkins Trifecta: 1,2,3 & 10 Boxed Trifecta @50.00 at bet365 - 1 Unit

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