In-form sprinter The Quarterback will be one step closer to earning a place in the Newmarket Handicap if he wins the Listed $120,000 W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on Monday.
The Quarterback has won his last two starts down the Flemington straight, one in restricted class on January 1 over 1000m then the latest in the Listed $120,000 Kensington Stakes (1000m) on January 10.
And another win will justify trainer Robbie Griffiths’ dream of running the Street Boss four year old in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14.
“That’s what we want to do but the question is whether he’s good enough, and how his form is leading into it,” Griffiths AAP.
“He’s got to keep taking the next step and if he continues to do that, well then he’s going to give himself a chance in a race like that.
“But he’s got to do that.”
“I’m really happy with him so he’ll go to the Adams Stakes and we’ll see how we go there.”
The Newmarket Handicap is one of the toughest Group 1 sprint races on the Australian Racing Calendar to win and this year will be no easier with the latest World Rankings listing Group 1 winners Lankan Rupee, and Terravista and Group 1 placed Chautauqua as the top three sprinters in the world and all three will be lining up at the top of the Flemington straight on Super Saturday for the $1m purse.
The W.J. Adams Stakes has attracted fourteen nominations with the Peter Moody trained triple Group 1 winner Moment Of Change heading the weights with 61.5kg with Robert Smerdon’s smart sprinter Shamal Wind the next in the weights at 56kg.
The Quarterback has been allocated 54kg and will be clashing with Sumakaray (54kg) and Hard Stride (55kg) again after the trio filled the trifecta in the Kensington Stakes.
The gelding has earned over $380,000 in prizemoney and bonuses with six wins and five placings from fifteen starts.