Eagle Farm and a wet track are the two key ingredients that will help Kiwi mare Quintessential when she steps out in the Group 2 $250,000 Al Basti Equiworld Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) tomorrow.
The John Sargent trained mare scored the biggest victory of her career winning last year’s Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on a heavy track.
And Quintessential backed up a week later for a gallant second to the Peter Moody trained Brambles in the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm.
“I think it could be the fact that it’s warmer over there and she seems to be one of those fillies and mares whose best racing is in the Autumn. She’s hitting her peak straps now which is ideal,” Sergant said.
The Fast ‘N’ Famous mare was then out of the winner’s stall for nearly twelve months until she returned to Eagle Farm three weeks ago on a slow track to take out the Group 3 $115,000 Landfill Logistics Pty Ltd Chairman’s Handicap (2100m).
Sargent is pleased that his mare is back in form and is keen to take on Moody’s Group 1 winning pair Manighar and Lights Of Heaven and Chris Waller’s improving stayer Moriarty in her final lead up to next week’s Group 2 $300,000 Croser Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm.
“I think this is a good race to top her off for the Brisbane Cup, she did it last year when she won the Queensland Oaks and backed up a week later and ran second in the Derby so we’re just doing the same type of thing,” Sargent said.
“She’s very well, I am very happy with her so with the speed on in the race, it will be a nice staying test.”
Sargent admits that Quintessential has a tremendous wet track record but says the mare has also recorded two wins on a good surface.
“She can do either but obviously the rain knocks some others out which will help her, it’s just slows some others down,” Sergant said.
Lights Of Heaven has also shown her liking for the spacious Eagle Farm track and is looking to repeat last year’s effort of winning the Eagle Farm Cup and the Brisbane Cup double.
The Zabeel mare started off her Winter Carnival campaign in great style with a win in the Group 2 $358,000 Wimmers Soft Drinks A. D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 4.
The 2011 Schweppes Oaks winner then finished fifth, hot on the heels of stablemate Manighar in the Group 1 $500,000 Kirks Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben on May 18.
The stablemates are fighting it out for the Eagle Farm Cup favouritism with Lights Of Heaven getting the nod at $2.80 with Manighar at $2.90.
Moriarty is next in the betting at $3.80 with Quintessential at $7.50 while the only other two runners are Voila Ici at $16 and Zabeelionaire at $26.