Co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott could look to Queensland with lightly raced two-year-old Formentera if the colt runs as hoped in the Clarendon Stakes at Rosehill.
Formentera broke his maiden over 1200m on a heavy track at Warwick Farm on April 8 and will make his fourth appearance in Saturday’s 1400m-race.
Racing Queensland has revised its winter carnival program because of the coronavirus pandemic, with the J J Atkins one of two Group One races on June 6 at Eagle Farm along with the Stradbroke Handicap.
The distance of the J J Atkins, the last of five Group One races for two-year-olds in Australia each season, has been reduced from 1600m to 1400m.
Bott is looking forward to Formentera stepping up to the distance and has taken the blinkers off.
“I think he’s a really nice colt for us,” Bott said.
“He should be suited by stepping up to 1400 metres and he’s in great shape.
“He looks to have trained on really well from his last-start win and that was a really tough effort, probably in unsuitable conditions because1200 metres is short of his best and a heavy track is probably not ideal for him.
“He’s a tough horse and I think his class probably got him through there.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him step out on Saturday and if he can continue to show the improvement he could be a horse we pencil in for the J J Atkins.
“We’ve always thought of him as a promising type.
“He’s obviously got to go out and warrant that but he’s got a lot of scope and he’s going to continue to improve, particularly as a three-year-old.”