Trainer Robbie Griffiths has been thrilled with the condition of The Quarterback since his shock win in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) a fortnight ago and is confident the horse is ready for another scintillating performance in tonight’s 2016 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
The Quarterback was rated virtually no chance of success in the Newmarket Handicap after being confirmed to line up alongside the likes of Chautauqua, but produced a monumental turn of foot in the final 300m to charge from the rear of the field and deliver Griffiths a maiden win at the highest level of racing.
The Moonee Valley track is arguably the most unique of all major Australian courses and Griffiths concedes that while thrilled with the condition of his stable star, The Quarterback’s performance in the 2016 William Reid Stakes will prove if he can handle the going.
“The William Reid will help us ascertain how he handles the Valley,” Griffiths told Racing Victoria.
“He’s trained on really well. He’s recovered in good order. He’ll present really well.
“If he was a bit jaded, we would have bypassed this race and concentrated on heading to the Goodwood in Adelaide later in the year. We’re still keen to do that.
“It’s a different structure of race than the Newmarket at his favourite track Flemington, but we’re hoping he can rise to the occasion.
“The question is how he handles himself at weight-for-age at Moonee Valley against that grade.”
The Quarterback has been a strong and consistent performer for Griffiths since first appearing on course competitively in 2013; posting a commendable eight wins and seven minors through twenty-four starts.
Capping a typically strong 2015 campaign with success in the Listed Dilmah Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on Crown Oaks Day, The Quarterback returned this time for third in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) on January 30th; progressing to a credible sixth in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1000m) in his only other start prior to the Newmarket Handicap.
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