The Quarterback returned to the races with a very comfortable victory in the 2016 Gilgai Stakes at Flemington this afternoon.
The Quarterback was able to settle closer to the lead than usual in the early stages of the Gilgai Stakes and he looked the winner a long way from home, with the Newmarket Handicap winner exploding when asked for an extra from jockey Matthew Allen to claim a dominant win.
Allen has developed an outstanding partnership with The Quarterback during his racing career and he is confident that the son of Street Boss has his best ever campaign ahead of him.
“He is a legend,” Allen said.
“I have won seven races on him now and he has never felt any better.
“His trials have been enormous and today I actually jumped with the field.
“They didn’t go that quick, I was only three lengths off the leader and when we got to the 400 I thought that there was no way they were going to beat him today.
“When I asked him to go he just exploded.
“No many horses can go with him when you ask him to go and when I was sitting that close I was just full of confidence.
“He is in for a massive prep.”
Trainer Robbie Griffiths was relatively confident heading into the Gilgai Stakes, but he admitted that he thought a lack of fitness may cost The Quarterback in the final stages of the Group 2 event.
Griffiths still believes that The Quarterback has plenty of improvement in front of him and he confirmed that he will head to the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 21 before the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 5.
“We were confident that he was going better this prep, but we wanted to keep a lid on it because a lot of these horses had race fitness on their side,” Griffiths said.
“As long as he ran top three we were going to be happy and if he did win we knew we had room for improvement.
“It is a nice way to kick off the prep going into two more Group 1s.
“He will go into the Manikato and then the Darley Classic.
“We always had a three run program kicking off here into the Manikato, which is he a little vulnerable at that style around the Valley.
“We think that he will have his peak run here in the Darley Classic.”
We’ve Got This produced one of the best performances of his career to date to finish second, while both Faatinah and Under The Louvre were disappointing in defeat.