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Did this Eagle Farm 2YO race over 1500m, traditionally a good lead-up to next week’s Gr 1 JJ Atkins, prove to be again this year?

The quick back-up certainly helps the runners so possibly is the answer.

This year, it was the drifting favourite VOLCANIC ROCK (Hinchinbrook – Heat Of The Fire) who was too good after sitting behind the leader until straightening.

VERBEK (Turn Me Loose – Chapchick) who has now run second in all three of his starts this campaign to date, chased him home hard and will derive a great deal of benefit from the run as will TUTUKAKA (Tavistock – Meleka Belle) who was last on the swing into the straight, and wide, before dashing home hard late.

On pedigree and experience the third horse, a little brother to the great Gr 1 winning mare Melody Belle, and who cost $25,000 as a yearling, will improve the most.

All three may back-up in the $1million Gr 1 JJ Atkins over a mile at this track next week.

Money did come for London Bell and also Verbek which mean’t the favourite, Volcanic Rock eased late in betting to start $2.20. Which amazed some major punters who thought his form was way superior to his rivals.

As it turned out they were right and the betting drift was inaccurate.

Craig Williams rode the winner who did look one paced all the way home, but that one pace was just too fast for them.

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott train Volcanic Rock and they have a strong history of getting carnival Black Type winners in Queensland at this time of year.

He will join their other hope, Converge, an impressive son of Frankel, in the JJ Atkins Stakes next Saturday.

Today was Volcanic Rock’s second run from a spell so he will strip considerably fitter next week in the big race.

As a yearling he cost $240,000. Today he took his prize earnings to $112,500.

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