Trainer Robbie Griffiths is very happy with The Quarterback ahead of the 2016 Kensington Stakes, but he admits he is concerned about the big weight the talented sprinter will carry in the Listed event.
The Quarterback carried 55.5 kilograms when he scored a narrow win over Sumakaray in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) 12 months ago, but he will carry the top weight of 60 kilograms in the 2016 edition of the race tomorrow.
Griffiths told Racing Ahead that The Quarterback has done everything right ahead of his return to racing and he is hopeful that the son of Street Boss will be able to overcome the big weight in the Kensington Stakes.
“I am delighted with him,” Griffiths said.
“He has come along really well and he had an 800 metre trial last week.
“He ran second in the trial, he was really good and he galloped well on Tuesday morning.
“His record there is terrific and with that in mind we have always had this race earmarked to kick off the autumn.
“The concern is the weight, but he has earnt that and hopefully it doesn’t stand in the way of him being a great chance tomorrow because we tick every other box and he is in really good order.”
The Quarterback has previously failed to fire at Group 1 level in the 2014 Australian Guineas and 2015 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes, but Griffiths remains confident that the five-year-old can be competitive at the highest level of racing.
Griffiths confirmed that The Quarterback will likely have his next race start in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 27 before he returns to Flemington for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 12.
“The most probable scenario would be to kick-off tomorrow and give him four weeks until the Oakleigh Plate and then into the Newmarket,” Griffiths said.
“He showed last time in the spring that he can get out a little bit further and was still strong out beyond the 1000.
“We think that we can save that energy to run a little bit further on Newmarket Day and that is the three race program at the moment.”
The Quarterback is currently available at 2016 Kensington Stakes odds of $6 with Ladbrokes and he is on the second line of betting behind Wild Rain ($4.20).