The first of three Group 1’s set down for this Saturday’s Doomben meeting is for the 3yo’s – the J. J. Atkins Stakes over a mile. As always the case, this particular event has attracted an emerging bunch of exciting young gallopers many of whom, like several previous winner this race went on to achieve, seem destined for better things. Chris Waller’s Press Statement ($4.80) and the locally trained Blueberry Hill ($5.00) fight out for favouritism in early markets with Waller’s other representative Counterattack, well in commission at $6.00. Peter Moody’s stellar winter carnival could be further enhanced with Bassett, who was an impressive winner at his only start to date, being kept safe at $7.00, whilst Syndicator Darby Racing has done a sensational job to have two runners involved – last start winner Look To The Stars ($7.00) and Typing ($21)
Special Offer: $501 BONUS BET – Sportsbet
1. COUNTERATTACK – Hugh Bowman (5)
Raced inside of eventual winner Blueberry Hill, who didn’t give him a great deal of room, when fourth (1.6 lengths) in the G2 Champagne Stakes before having no luck when fourth again in the G2 Sires’ Produce. The well-well bred colt then found himself awkwardly positioned, four back on the fence, as they turned for home and he had to wait, and then weave a run closer to the fence, before finishing strongly late. With a touch of luck, he would’ve easily finished in the money at his past two outings and can easily make amends here.
2. PRESS STATEMENT – Tye Angland (10)
He made it two wins from as many outings with a half-length win over Shards last week in 2yo Open Plate (1350m) at Rosehill. Leading all the way, his victory wasn’t as strong as many would like to have seen from a $1.80 favourite win but it was his only his second start and first for a month. The Hinchinbrook colt has some handy wraps on him but from the wider draw here, will have to live up to them to be winning.
3. BASSETT – L Nolen (2)
Kicked off his career from trainer Peter Moody in the best possible way, winning a 2yo race at Caulfield by a comfortable 1.3 lengths from Kinglike, who himself was an impressive winner last week at Moonee Valley. Did get every chance from the inside draw on debut did the son of Excel And Excel but there was still plenty to like about the way he disposed of his opposition. Drawn to get a similar run here and although this is only his second race start, and first the right-hand way of going, would pay to treat him with plenty of respect.
4. CYLINDER BEACH – Robbie Fradd (12)
Having been well beaten into fifth place (7.1 lengths) in the Listed Dalrello Stakes by Typing at only his second start, it was no surprise to see Desleigh Forster’s colt start a big price when contesting the G2 Sires’ Produce at his following and most recent start. However the son of Showcasing produced a finish that belied his price of $101.00. He was well back on the fence as they turned but after angling into clear space soon after straightening and produced a monster finish that saw him claim third spot (1.5 lengths) behind Look To The Stars. Will be giving them all a start again here from the widest draw but on his last start effort and the step up to the mile, has to be rated a legitimate chance.
Special Offer 2: $500 BONUS BET – Ladbrokes
5. FEEAT FOR EYES – Zac Purton (1)
He registered his first career win, at start number five, in impressive fashion when accounting for six rivals easily in an Open 2yo Handicap (1550m) at Canterbury last week, winning by 3.8 lengths. The impeccably bred son of More Than Ready led, increased the tempo into the turn before kicking off the bend and giving those chasing him, no chance of picking him up. Will employ the same tactics here and whilst this race is significantly harder, he has shown good improvement each run and his capable of a cheeky effort here.
6. AGREE TO – Michael Cahill (3)
Has finished second in three of his four starts to date including at his most recent outing when a length behind Another Girl in a Ipswich Maiden. Made steady, as he had done at his previous starts, last time out from worse than midfield and whilst the extra distance will be in the favour of the Bevan Laming trained colt, the rise in class here should see him covered.
7. PEPPERANO – Damian Browne (7)
Drew well and secured a lovely run throughout when third (1.4 lengths) to Blueberry Hill in the G2 Champagne Stakes before drawing wide in the G2 Sires’ Produce Stakes. The Court Command filly pushed forward from the wide gate but the early work and pressure up front told over the last furlong and she battled late, finishing ninth (4.6 lengths) behind Look To The Stars. At this level and distance, would think she needs to get the gun run to be competitive and that may prove difficult from gate seven.
8. BLUEBERRY HILL – Larry Cassidy (8)
As she was when driving home to win the G2 Champagne Stakes (1200m) at her previous start, the Liam Birchley trained filly was posted wide throughout in the G2 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) a fortnight ago. She again finished strongly though and only failed by a head to pick up winner Look To The Stars. The daughter of Myboycharlie is yet to run a bad race in five starts, has a great attitude to her racing and despite drawing awkwardly again, will be involved in the thick of things again here.
Special Offer 3: $300 BONUS BET – Luxbet
9. LOOK TO THE STARS – Luke Tarrant (4)
Got too far back and was only warming up when the race was all but over in the G2 Champagne Stakes, finishing tenth and 3.7 lengths behind Blueberry Hill. The Clarry Connors trained filly was in a far more suitable position in the G2 Sires’ Produce Stakes at her next start though and camped just off a good speed. Peeling out at the top of the straight, she defied the challenge by Blueberry Hill to prevail by a head. Maps well and should be in the box seat for most of the trip from gate four and can make it back-to-back victories.
10. TYPING – Jim Bryne (9)
Trainer Stuart Kendrick entered his Sebring filly in the Sires’ Produce after breaking her maiden status with a strong win in the Listed Dalrello Stakes (1200m) at Toowoomba. From a wider gate, she settled under Jim Byrne in the second half of the field and was doing her best work late to run fifth (2.1 lengths). Improving filly who gives the impression that the mile will be right up here alley.
11. SAGARONNE – Blake Shinn (11)
Spelled after an inauspicious Gold Coast debut in the first week of the New Year but returned with a much more impressive effort to score at the same track last month. The Toby Edmonds trained galloper whipped home from near last in the thirteen horse field to record a half-length win in the Maiden Handicap and immediately backed that up with a similar effort to claim last week’s Listed The Phoenix Stakes (1350m). Hard not to be impressed by either of the above wins and being only three starts into her career, safe to say there’s still more to come and that she’s capable of taking another step up here.
12. ASHLEE MARIE – Michael Rodd (6)
The Face Value filly recorded a ¾ victory in a Seymour Maiden on debut before travelling to Sydney and making it two from two with a narrow defeated over Encosta Line – who is still a maiden after six starts, at Randwick in 2yo Open Handicap (1400m) Both were determined wins but she’ll find this much harder than either of her previous starts and would be looking to others.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Press Statement probably pushes forward with Fest For Eye also prominent. Last start winners Look To The Stars and Bassett land in behind and get every chance however, keenest on Counterattack here.
Hasn’t had a great deal of luck his last two but should get a nice spot in the running line mid-field here and be charging late. Blueberry Hill has to find a spot in the numbers – her form is rock solid.
2. LOOK TO THE STARS
4. BLUEBERRY HILL