Amexed will step up to 2400 metres in 2014 Queensland Derby and trainer Tony Gollan is very happy with the promising stayer heading into the Group 1 event this weekend.
Amexed stamped himself as a leading contender for the Queensland Derby with an upset win in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben on May 10 and was far from disgraced when fourth behind Vilanova in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at the same venue on May 24.
Gollan told Racing Ahead that Amexed had taken a while to recover from his tough run in the Grand Prix Stakes, but said that he had responded well in the past few days and is going into the Queensland Derby in good condition.
“He knew that he had a run for the first three or four days and I suspect that most of the field that were up on the pace were the same,” Gollan said.
“I took him to the beach a couple of times to vary his routine a little bit and he is a happy, healthy horse.
“His work this morning was identical to when he won the Rough Habit and I am very confident that he is bouncing back to his best.
“Like a lot of three-year-olds, whether the Derby has come a bit too soon for we won’t know until Saturday, but I am very happy with the horse and I know that he is quiet talented.”
Amexed was ridden just behind the speed in the early stages of the Grand Prix Stakes and Gollan believes that may not be the best way to ride the son of Pentire.
Gollan is expecting Amexed to get further back in the Queensland Derby this weekend and is hoping that the three-year-old will be able to show the impressive turn-of-foot that he exhibited in his Rough Habit Plate victory.
“We will really ride him to run the mile and a half and just ride him to be comfortable and let he work through his gears,” Gollan said.
“He is a young horse that can get off balance and the most important thing is that he keeps his balance.”
Amexed is currently available at 2014 Queensland Derby odds of $11; with Vilanova ($3.80) still a narrow favourite from Elusive Runner ($4.80), Pinstripe Lane ($4.80) and Telepathic ($9.5).
Gollan is chasing his first win in the Queensland Derby after finishing 14th in last year’s race with Trakstar.