Talented New Zealand four-year-old Quintessential will make the first step of her Australian spring journey on Saturday when she lines up in the Group 3 Tramway Handicap (1600m) at Warwick Farm.
It will be the John Sargent-trained mare’s first test in open company in Australia after excelling in three-year-old races during the Queensland winter carnival.
Quintessential arrived for her four-start Brisbane campaign on the back of a New Zealand Oaks third and impressed to win the Queensland Oaks (2400m) and finish runner-up to Brambles in the Queensland Derby (2400m).
The daughter of Fast ‘n’ Famous may have won the Queensland Oaks on a heavy track but connections have warned she will be just as effective on the top of the ground this spring.
Adrian Clark, who manages the mare, wrote in his blog this week that she is capable on all surfaces and pointed to her win in the Group 3 Desert Gold Stakes and New Zealand Oaks third on good tracks as evidence.
“Many are of the opinion that Quintessential is a mudlark, due to her ploughing her way to victory on a rain-drenched Eagle Farm track on Oaks Day,” Clark said.
“Don’t be fooled, she is equally effective on top of the ground.”
While spring goals haven’t been finalised for Quintessential, she is entered for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups and Clark said races like the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) and the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) on September 22 were possible options.
Experienced jockey Damian Browne rode Quintessential in both the Queensland Oaks and Derby but a prior booking in Brisbane will see Brenton Avdulla assume the mount this weekend.
Avdulla rode the promising stayer in a gallop yesterday morning and reported on twitter that he is expecting her to perform in the first-up run on Saturday.
“Had my first sit on the Qld Oaks winner this morning. Worked very well and expecting a good run on Saturday,” Avdulla tweeted.