Prince Fawaz favourite for G1 JJ AtkinsSaturday 25 May 2019
Prince Fawaz has shot to the top of markets for the J J Atkins Stakes with his win over former favourite Reloaded at Randwick during which he has had to cope with serious interference.
The Anthony Cummings-trained Prince Fawaz was a decisive 1-1/4 length winner of Saturday's 1400m-race for two-year-olds and firmed from $15 to $4.50 for the Atkins on June 8 with Reloaded out to $5.
The Atkins over 1600m at Eagle Farm is the final of five Group One races for two-year-olds for the season with Cummings and Reloaded's trainer Chris Waller opting for the Sydney race rather than the BRC Sires' Produce Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The Sires was won by the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Strasbourg who is a $9 chance for the Atkins but is not nominated.
Peter Snowden said he and the owners would discuss paying the late entry which is due on Wednesday but Strasbourg would have to come through his race particularly well.
Cummings has no doubts about Prince Fawaz who was on the receiving end of two incidents near the home turn in Saturday's race.
Ridden by Adam Hyeronimus, Prince Fawaz ($8) was forced to check off heels before copping the worst of horses coming back at him after Reloaded ($1.75 fav) shifted out.
The move forced a couple of other horses wide and on to Prince Fawaz but Hyeronimus said the way he recovered was a sign of his talent and toughness.
"We were travelling nicely but nothing was taking me into the race so just as I was making a move the interference happened and he skidded on the turn,'' Hyeronimus said.
"But he was able to pick himself up after five strides and then within 100 metres he had the race won."
Reloaded got into the clear but could not match Prince Fawaz who was off and gone to claim his first win from four starts and earn his way into the Atkins.
Cummings put the colt into the Group One Champagne Stakes at his second start with Prince Fawaz a creditable fifth.
He finished third at his next start at Newcastle, a race his jockey Tommy Berry admitted he should have won.
"Because he has got so much talent, I put a bit of pressure on him to have a shot at the Champagne Stakes at his second start when he ran fifth,'' Cummings said.
"Then Tommy put his hand up for what happened to the colt at Newcastle. I'm just repeating what he said that day but I didn't argue with him.
"What it showed was that Prince Fawaz was ready to run well today and the fact he won doesn't surprise me but the manner he was able to achieve his win did."
Hyeronimus has ridden the colt in trials and his races apart from Newcastle and could not have been happier to get back aboard.
"He is a serious horse. He's shown that from day dot," he said.
"Not much gets me excited but I galloped him for the first time about six weeks ago and had a grin from ear to ear."