Atkinson on Mareeba Cup mission
TIPSTERS have picked Mutchilba trainer Julie Atkinson to go one-for-one in tomorrow%u2019s Mareeba
Going into her first Mareeba Cup as a trainer, Atkinson will saddle up one of the favourites – Ottana.The Cairns Post tipsters The Judge and The Bagman on the Rails have picked Ottana ahead of top-weight Albuquerque and a host of other contenders after a strong showing in last weekend’s Cairns Amateurs carnival.
"I suppose he’s a pretty good chance," Atkinson said.
"We’re pretty confident. He went really well there in the Amateurs but you never know.
"It’s a different field out there. It’s racing. You could have raced that same field 10 different times and you would have had 10 different winners."
That healthy attitude does not just come from Atkinson’s seven years as a trainer.
Although she has seen a lot in that time, the bulk of her racing insights come via husband Mark, the longtime jockey, who introduced her to the sport in 2005.
Atkinson had ridden horses before then, but she never had an interest in racing. However, it didn’t take her long to catch the bug.
Along with the couple’s daughter Danielle, the Atkinsons have a growing stable and aspirations to compete at the metropolitan centres.
But the Mareeba Cup is the one Julie wants to win right now.
"I grew up in Mareeba, so it would definitely be good to win this one," she said.
"For Mark as well. A lot of work has gone into getting (Ottana) to where he is. It would definitely be very humbling to win the Mareeba Cup."
The five-year-old miler ran well enough over this distance at Cannon Park last start to go into the race as one of the favourites. But there are plenty of others that threaten to ruin Atkinson’s bid for a maiden Mareeba Cup win.
Trevor Rowe’s Albuquerque was not good enough for a placing last weekend in Cairns, but he was good enough to win at the Cairns Cup carnival last month and back it up with victory in Townsville a fortnight later.
Grand Silence was just pipped by stablemate Rattus Conatus last weekend, and the Fred Wieland horse will be dangerous again tomorrow.
"Those top four horses are strong, it’s going to be tough to beat them," Atkinson said. "But you never know. It’s racing, anything could happen."
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Determined: Julie Atkinson, with her daughter Dannielle, will seek her first Mareeba Cup win tomorrow.