Trainer Robbie Griffiths has revealed that stable star The Quarterback could make the long journey abroad to contest the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) in Dubai during his forthcoming Autumn Carnival campaign.
The Quarterback has produced a number of standout performances through a consistent thirty-start career for Griffiths, but undoubtedly found his best form to date during last year’s Autumn Carnival, in which he posted a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
Confirming that a defence of his Newmarket remains a priority for the son of Street Boss this time in, Griffiths said that he has not ruled out a trip to the Middle-East for the Al Quoz Sprint in late March; a race won by veteran warhorse Buffering in 2016.
“We’re not sure. It’s the perfect race for him in Dubai,” Griffiths told AAP.
“I think if we’re brave enough to travel overseas, I would imagine Dubai is the right type of race because it’s in a straight line, it will be a dry track and be similar weather pattern to Melbourne.
“And it’s two weeks after the Newmarket. So it’s the right race for him if we’re game enough to travel. Royal Ascot gets a bit wet and he’s not as good on the wet. And it’s further down the track.
“So it will boil down to what we think once we get through the Newmarket. His form has to warrant it, of course.
“He has to run well in the Lightning and the Newmarket to even contemplate it. But he is nominated for Dubai.”
The Quarterback was considered virtually no chance of success in the Newmarket Handicap and jumped as a $21 shot, but produced a scintillating turn of foot to run on from the rear of the field and find the line ahead of Black Heart Bart and Chautauqua.
Progressing fifth in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) and third in the Vobis Gold Sprint (1200m), The Quarterback was returned to the paddock after finishing mid-pack in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m).
Resuming in spring for a commanding win in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m), The Quarterback placed fourth in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and was last seen running on for sixth in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 5th.