Randwick 1600m specialist Quackerjack showed that he is on target for the Doncaster Mile with a tough last stride win in the Group 3 $160,000 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Randwick today.
Quackerjack is a three times winner over the famous Randwick Mile and today’s win was his first run back since winning the Group 2 $250,000 Quincy Seltzer Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on December 14.
Trainer Mark Newnham had Quackerjack ($5) primed for a solid first up performance and the four year old didn’t let the stable down as he wore down the leader Vegadaze ($4.60) in the shadows of the post to record a narrow but tough win.
Winning jockey Josh Parr settled Quackerjack behind Vegadaze from the jump and the two front runners had the race between them all the way down the straight.
Third placegetter Rock ($7) ran on from the back to finish just ahead of I Am Superman ($11).
The chances of the $3.80 favourite Imaging were done at the 300m when he clashed heavily with Cascadian ($6) with both horses becoming unbalanced and subsequently out of contention.
Cascadian ended up in the fifth place while Imaging was four lengths from the winner in eighth position.
Newnham will give Quackerjack one more run leading into the Doncaster Mile in the Group 2 $200,000 Hyland Colours Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 14.
“He’ll have another run in the Ajax then three weeks into the Doncaster. I had it planned straight after the Villiers,” Newnham said.
“His best runs have been three weeks between runs, so he only gets a fortnight (into the Ajax) then he gets three weeks into the Doncaster.”
“He’s a very good horse and you know when it comes down to the fight more often than not he’ll have his head out on the line.”
“He’s only come off a three week break, his first-up form is a bit mixed but in a race where he looked to sit one-two around the corner he was always going to be hard to beat. When it came down to the last 200m and there was only two horses in it I was confident he’d win.”
Quackerjack has firmed in from $34 to $17 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 4.