There has been a sprinkling of money for The Quarterback and he has remained steady at 2015 Black Caviar Lighting Stakes odds of $26, but Racing Manager Don Healy admits that the promising sprinter is not suited by the weight-for-age conditions of the Group 1 event at Flemington tomorrow.
The Quarterback was reinvented as a short course sprinter during a summer campaign and he produced three strong performances over the 1000 metre course at Flemington; finishing third in the Red Tempo Handicap (1000m) on December 20 before taking out the Flemington 1840-2015 Handicap (1000m) on New Year’s Day and the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) on January 10.
Healy, the Racing Manager for trainer Robbie Griffiths, told Racing Ahead that The Quarterback has been impressive in his previous starts over the track and distance of the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes, but he said that connections are well aware that the Street Boss gelding faces a much stiffer challenge against Deep Field and Lankan Rupee this weekend.
“His two runs over 100 metres have been terrific,” Healy said.
“He ran 56.33 in the first one and 57.65 in the second one and he likes that course.
“Weight-for-age is not going to suit him, but he will take a sit behind the first four and then we would expect that he would run home.”
The Quarterback was found to have suffered from a degree of internal bleeding when he finished at the tail of the field in the Listed W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on Australia Day, but Healy said that the four-year-old appears to have taken no long term harm from the incident.
Healy expects The Quarterback to take benefit from his run in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes and he confirmed that the gelding would press on to the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14.
“He seems pretty good, he has been scoped and everything is good,” Healy said.
“We are running him tomorrow basically as a lead-up to the Newmarket where he will be better suited under the handicap.”
Deep Field has been backed into Black Caviar Lightning Stakes odds of $2.15 in the past 24 hours and remains favourite to score his maiden win at Group 1 level from Lankan Rupee ($2.50), Brazen Beau ($5.50), The Quarterback ($26), Watermans Bay ($41) and Fab Fevola ($101).