Champion trainer Chris Waller has confirmed a start for Mackintosh in the Group 1 $600,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
The former New Zealand trained Macintosh is one of twenty-eight three year olds among the first acceptances for the Queensland Derby and made it three wins for Waller from three starts when he raced on the pace to record a solid win over Eagle Way and Howard Be Thy Name in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben last Saturday.
Mackintosh’s other two wins for the Waller stable were in a 1500m BenchMark 77 Handicap at Hawkesbuty on April 30 and in the the Group 3 $125,000 Mitty’s Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben on May 14.
Following his win in the Grand Prix Stakes, Mackintosh was installed as the favourite for the Queensland Derby but Waller had considered switching the gelding back to the 1600m of the Group 2 $400,000 MIRVAC Queensland Guineas at Eagle Farm on the same day.
Both Waller and Grand Prix Stakes winning jockey Blake Shinn has some reservations of Mackintosh running out a strong 2400m of the Queensland Derby.
“We have also made the decision that Mackintosh will definitely run in the Queensland Derby,” Waller said.
“We are very happy with the way that he has come through his winning run in the Grand Prix over the 2200m-distance and having seen him come through the race and having a good look at his profile, we have no doubt that he will run the 2400m.”
Grand Prix Stakes placegetters Eagle Way and Howard Be Thy Name are also among the first acceptances for the Queensland Derby.
While Eagle Way will be stepping up to the 2400m for the first time, the Darren Weir trained Howard Be Thy Name will have no trouble running out the distance after winning the Group 1 $500,000 South Australian Derby run over 2500m at Morphettville on May 14.
Macintosh heads the market order for the Queensland Derby at $3.30 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Howard Be Thy Name at $4.40 and Eagle Way at $5.
Waller also accepted with Encosta Line ($9), Rodrico ($21) and Multifacets ($26).
Encosta Line was scratched from the Grand Prix Stakes because of a blood irregularity but Waller said that the three year old had not missed any work and will not have another run before the Queensland Derby.
“Encosta Line will not run this weekend as I am satisfied he is fit enough to go straight to the Queensland Derby,” Waller said in a statement.
“He has not missed any work which included a solid gallop at Rosehill on Monday morning and is scheduled to gallop again on Friday morning.
“Hugh Bowman will ride Encosta Line in the Queensland Derby, Blake Shinn will ride Mackintosh, Joao Moreira will ride Rodrico and our other Derby runner is likely to be Multifacets.”
Early market order for the Queensland Derby at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.30 Mackintosh, $4.40 Howard Be Thy Name, $5 Eagle Way, $9 Encosta Line, Eschiele, $11 Etymology, Provocative, $15 Imposing Lass, $17 Cylinder Beach, I’m Belucci, $21 Brazen, Rodrico, Ambience, Kebede, Multifacits, Tavi Bay, $34 Colonel Custer, Red Alto, Star Zone, $41 Dawnie Perfect, Harvard, $51 Snapper, $67 Iron Boss, $81 Addmiral Jello, Cila, $101 Last Typhoon, Maven Wiz, Slaughter Bay.