Phillip Stokes’ South Australian Derby placegetter Mr Quickie is on track for Saturday’s Group 1 $600,000 Queensland Derby (2400m) having performed well in his last piece of work at home on Monday.
The Shamus Award gelding flies to Brisbane on Tuesday morning and will be given a cruisy week ahead of the Queensland Derby bid at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Handicap Day.
Stokes is happy with the progress of his gun three-year-old since the last start third behind Qafila in Morphettville’s Group 1 $500,000 SA Derby (2500m) back on May 11.
Hoop John Allen was aboard for that elite level placing and also rode Mr Quickie at Pakenham on Monday to keep the horse fit for the weekend.
“John Allen came down and galloped him this morning with a mate,” Stokes told AAP on Monday.
“We gave him a canter from the 2000 [metres], ran a mile in evens and quickened up in the last 400 metres.
“He cornered well and did everything nicely going in the right-hand direction on the course proper here at Pakenham.”
Allen is in flying form this season and has already enjoyed a Group 1 win over the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival having partnered gun mare Kenedna for her Doomben Cup (2000m) success on May 18.
The Irish-born Allen kept the wins coming in the sunshine state last weekend on Oaks Day with Kenedna too good for her rivals again in the Group 2 $400,000 P.J. O’Shea Stakes (2200m).
Success this Saturday on Mr Quickie in the Queensland Derby will see Allen celebrate Group 1 win number five this season to date.
Stokes is also enjoying a lovely strike-rate with the former Darren Weir-trained Mr Quickie who has had five starts with his new stable for three wins and the Group 1 third.
“He’s still got to travel up there [to Brisbane] tomorrow [Tuesday] and hopefully that all goes well,” Stokes said.
“He’ll stay on course at Eagle Farm. We’ll get him settled and hopefully he can have a cruisy week until the race on Saturday.
“We preferred to give him all his work at home on surfaces that we know and hopefully that will all pan out.”
Pre-field Queensland Derby odds at Ladbrokes.com.au list Mr Quickie as the equal $6 second-elect with Mark Newnham’s ATC Oaks runner-up Scarlet Dream.
Favourite in the markets at $4.20 is the Chris Waller-trained Nobu, the Reliable Man grey coming off a narrow win over 2000m at Randwick on May 25 carrying 59.5kg.
Top 5 All-In Queensland Derby Odds at Ladbrokes.com.au: Nobu ($4.20), Mr Quickie ($6), Scarlet Dream ($6), Re Edit ($9), Fun Fact ($10).