Promising staying three year old Order Again can pencil in a spot in the Queensland Derby with another impressive performance in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The lightly raced Order Again will only be lining up for his eighth race start in the Grand Prix Stakes but Eagle Farm trainer Brian Smith said that the Iffraaj gelding has improved with every run.
“He has come a long way in a short space of time and what I like about him is that he has got a turn of foot, in his maiden he picked up a horse at the Sunshine Coast that was leading by eight lengths, he picked it up and spat it out, there was a massive margin to the third horse,” Smith told racing.com.
“When they can break 34 seconds doing that and can stay, they tend to have a bit up their sleeve.”
Order Again has drawn barrier seven in the Grand Prix Stakes field that has been reduced to fourteen runners following the scratchings of Sizzling Bullet and Valentino Rossa and will be partnered by regular rider Larry Cassidy who is looking forward to seeing the three year old line up in the Group 1 $600,000 Channel 7 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 10.
“Larry Cassidy is also quite excited, he has won three Derbies here in Brisbane before and he has ridden some great horses, he likes this bloke.” Smith said.
“I keep saying to him, ‘keep calm, we’ve still got a few weeks till the Derby yet’, but he is going to have a lovely run and be hard to beat this Saturday.”
Smith said that Cassidy will be able to give Order Again a good run from barrier seven and expects him to be competitive again coming off a last start second to Grand Prix Stakes rival Shocking Luck in the Group 3 $125,000 Mittys Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben on May 13.
“I was happy when the draw came and he has drawn reasonably in seven, he is going to get a nicer trip and race a lot handier than he did last start,” Smith said.
“His last run was enormous, it is always hard for a three-year-old to go around two bends for the first time, at only his third run up this season, I thought it was incredible.”
Order Again got his chance to tackle the feature Brisbane Winter Carnival three year old staying races with his seven and a half lengths win two starts back in a 1500m BenchMark 70 Handicap at Eagle Farm on May 3.
Order Again is well in contention in the betting for the Grand Prix Stakes at $5.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au who have Shocking Luck as the $3.20 favourite just ahead of James Cummings’ Victoria Derby winner Prized Icon at $3.80.
In Queensland Derby betting Order Again is equal second favourite at $6 with Prized Icon behind Shocking Luck at $5.