Horse Racing

Good gate key to Subterranean assault in JJ Atkins

Barriers not ability hold the key to helping impressive colt Subterranean turn the tables in Saturday’s JJ Atkins Stakes (1600m) as trainer Matthew Dunn eyes a maiden Group 1 success at Eagle Farm.

Dunn, who has training bases at Murwillumbah and Warwick Farm, believes he has his son of Rebel Dane ready to fire in his grand final but is desperate to see the talented colt rewarded with a good gate in the race.

Subterranean has seen his chances dented with tricky gates this preparation despite winning the Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial Classic two starts back at the Gold Coast.

What a finish!💥 @nashhot takes out the TAB Ken Russell Memorial with Subterranean for @mattydunnracingpic.twitter.com/ppLVosOAlZ

He drew wide at his last start in the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes and was posted deep throughout the $1 million feature before battling on late to finish eighth.

Dunn was satisfied with the run under the circumstances and believes Subterranean has the ability to flip the script on his more fancied rivals if he can nab an inside gate for this weekend’s Group 1.

“He has never drawn a gate in his life,” Dunn said.

“He was good the other day in the Sires’ when he was caught three and four deep so if he can reproduce that performance from a good draw, that will give him his chance.

“If he can draw well, we can maybe box seat and hopefully run well from there.”

Trainer Matthew Dunn. Photo: AAP Image/Albert PerezSource:AAP

Dunn has only had a handful of Group 1 starters with former star sprinter Care To Think making up the bulk of those runs at the top level.

He considers Subterranean among his best chances on the big stage.

“He would be one of the best of them,” Dunn said.

“I've had a couple that have been chances before with horses like Care To Think but he’d be up there.

“One thing that stands out with him is that he is a lovely big horse and he stretches out nicely.

“Most horses that do that, always tend to show good talent and he is a pretty talented racehorse.

“He is pretty casual at home and if I worked him next to Care To Think he wouldn't get close to him but that’s just the way he works.”

Nash Rawiller retains the ride on Subterranean for the JJ Atkins Stakes after riding the colt at his last two starts.

Subterranean is a $15 chance with TAB fixed odds for the final two-year-old Group 1 of the season with the final field set to be declared on Tuesday.

Originally published asThe barrier to Dunn’s Group 1 tilt

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