The JJ Atkins, recently known as the TJ Smith, is a Group 1 horse race held each year at Eagle Farm Racecourse in Brisbane. Run over 1600 metres and worth $500,000 in prize money, The JJ Atkins is one of three Group 1 events held on Stradbroke Handicap Day each June, along with the Stradbroke Handicap and Queensland Derby. This event has grown to become an elite two-year-old race, attracting a strong field of local and interstate horses each year.
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Inaugurated in 1893, this event has been through a number of changes over the years. Originally called the Claret Stakes, it has also been held as the Castlemaine Stakes, Castlemaine QTC Classic, and TJ Smith among others. The JJ Atkins was originally a Principal Race, becoming a Group 2 race in 1980 and a Group 1 race a few years later in 1985. Originally run over 6 furlongs, The JJ Atkins became a 7 furlong race in 1905, an 8 furlong race in 1955, and a 1600 metre race in 1973.
A number of notable names have won this event over the years, including Mahogany in 1993, Zeditave in 1988, Show A Heart in 2000, and Darci Bramha in 2005.
Karunda, Le Strom, and Femme Fatale are a few of the earlier winners, with recent winners including Pressday in 2010, Benfica in 2011, Sizzling in 2012, and Romantic Touch in 2013.
Horses may come into this event from the Group 2 Champagne Stakes and Group 2 Sires Produce Stakes, with some horses managing to win all three races in the same season. Recent winners Sizzling in 2012 and Pressday in 2010 managed to achieve this amazing feat. Recent two-year-olds to win the Sires Produce Stakes and The JJ Atkins double include Sizzling in 2012, Pressday in 2010, Lovely Jubly in 2002, Juanmo in 2001, Al Mansour in 1997, Anthems in 1996, Mahogany in 1993, and Slight Chance in 1992.
Winners of The JJ Atkins often go on to bigger things later in their career, with Shoot Out (7th in 2009) running seventh in this race before winning the Group 1 AJC Derby and Pressday in 2010 going on to win the Group 2 Sandown Guineas at Sandown. This event has grown to become an important part of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, as a major supporting race on Eagle Farm’s biggest day of the year, Stradbroke Handicap Day.
JJ Atkins 2014 odds comparison