2020 JJ ATKINS - RACE HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
The JJ Atkins is a Group 1 race for two-year-olds conducted by the Brisbane Racing Club as part of the Queensland racing carnival.
The JJ Atkins existed for a long time in another form but was effectively first run in 1976 won by Romantic Dream. It became a G1 in 1985 and was a handicap for many years.
The JJ Atkins is run under set weight conditions and is run over the mile. From 2019 the race was back at Eagle Farm but at 1400m in 2020 due to the virus.
The race has had several name changes, the longest of which was as the TJ Smith after the legendary Sydney trainer but was renamed after a great Brisbane trainer Jim Atkins in 2013.
Back in the 70s some important winners evolved. Romantic Dream would beat the next two Cox Plate winners in Family Of Man (1977) and Surround (1976) while the great Luskin Star won the 1977 edition of this race.
The Sires/JJ double had not been done since 2002 before Pressday then Sizzling. No double has been achieved since the Sires went to Doomben in 2013.
Four fillies in the last 19 years have won the JJ Atkins (Juanmo/Lovely Jubly/Apercu/Linky Dink) but none for a decade.
The form from this race has been very strong into the Melbourne Spring carnival. Chris Waller has used the race as a guide to his future 3yo talent.
Press Statement would go on to take a Caulfield Guineas while Pressday ended up winning a Sandown Guineas. Zoustar was second in Brisbane and then won a Golden Rose and Coolmore Stud Stakes. Brazen Beau was also second and then took a Coolmore plus a Newmarket Hcp after that.
Then The Autumn Sun sat wide but still won in 2018. He then came back in the Spring to win the Golden Rose and the Caulfield Guineas making it three G1s in his first six starts. He'd go on to win the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas before retirement to Arrowfield Stud.
The 2020 JJ Atkins was for $350,000 – reduced due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Past winners of the JJ Atkins include Romantic Dream (1976), Luskin Star (1977), Zephyr Zip (1979), Flotilla (1987), Zeditave (1988), Prince Salieri (1989), Slight Chance (1992), Mahogany (1993), Ravarda (1995),Freemason (1999), Show A Heart (2000), Press Statement (2015), The Autumn Sun (2018) and Prince Fawaz (2019).
The 2019 JJ Atkins was won by Prince Fawaz from Kubrick and Reloaded.