The Courier-Mail

Waller plays full hand of young guns in JJ Atkins

- BEN DORRIES

CHRIS Waller has never made it his biggest priority to win Group 1s with juvenile horses but will gang-tackle Saturday’s JJ Atkins at Doomben with a trio of exciting chances.

The master Sydney trainer has won 46 Group 1s but only one of those was a two-yearold when Pressday won the JJ Atkins (then the TJ Smith) at Eagle Farm in 2010.

Waller often prefers the softly softly method with twoyear-olds – looking after them as raw youngsters to ensure he gets the best out of them as three-year-olds and later in life.

That’s not to say he hasn’t had incredible success with young horses.

Zoustar ran second in the 2013 JJ Atkins before training on to dual Group 1 success before being syndicated to stand at stud for nearly $20 million.

And Brazen Beau ran second in last year’s JJ Atkins before going on to be a superstar and going to stud for a fortune after he races at Royal Ascot this month.

Waller yesterday confirmed he will launch a three-pronged assault on Saturday’s JJ Atkins with the unbeaten Press Statement and last-start winner Feast For Eyes joining Counteratt­ack.

He believes Counteratt­ack has been unlucky in two Brisbane runs and hopes his other duo can become giant killers after starting their campaigns in Sydney midweek races.

Latest UBET odds have Press Statement as the equal favourite at $5, Counteratt­ack at $6 and Feast For Eyes at $15.

“Sometimes it can be better looking after young horses in the winter and not having them race much as two-yearolds,’’ Waller said.

“But all of these horses are all ready to race (in the JJ Atkins).

“Counteratt­ack has not had much luck in Brisbane and he would have been in the finish had he got clear running last time.’’

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