Trainer Robbie Griffiths has revealed that he will be restricting The Quarterback to sprinting events during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but will not be targeting Group 1 races with the talented gelding.
The Quarterback was given a maiden opportunity over a mile in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing, after finishing third in both the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m), but failed to run out the trip strongly and was dropped back in trip for the rest of his autumn preparation.
The son of Street Boss was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished fifth behind Miracles Of Life in the Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on May 3 and according to Griffiths has taken plenty of benefit out of his stint in the spelling.
While Griffiths is happy with the physical condition of The Quarterback heading into the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, he does not believe that the rising four-year-old is capable of competing at Group 1 races like the Manikato Stakes (1200m) and VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) and will instead be keeping the talented gelding to some lower tier Group races before giving him an opportunity in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington next year.
“The Quarterback I’d be looking at second tier sprints,” Griffiths told Racing Victoria.
“He’s got a lot of potential but he’s still not a highly-rated horse.
“We’ve got time to poke along and not put the bar too high this time then maybe season him up to possibly look at Newmarket on the minimum weight in the autumn as an autumn four-year-old .
“He’s a gelding, he’s not going to be whizzing off to stud anywhere, so he doesn’t have to jump in the deep end and be poorly weighted.
“I’d probably rather go down the gently gently path, but he is once again like all horses at this time of year and his immediate form is going to determine what path he takes.”
Griffiths said that The Quarterback is a chance of returning to the races in the Group 3 The Heath (1100m) at Caulfield on August 30 and could contest races like the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 4, the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) at Caulfield on October 18 and the Group 2 Yellowglen Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day during his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.