Trainer Robbie Griffiths will have a race against time to have The Quarterback fit to run in the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington in February.
The Quarterback was sent out as one of the favourites for the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington last Saturday but after being galloped on could only finish sixth to Malaguerra.
Racing Victoria Stewards reported after the race that The Quarterback had swelling and cuts to his legs and was sore in the off hind and back and Griffiths confirmed the six year old gelding was sore behind.
“He got galloped on quite badly behind and is sore in the hindquarters as a result,” Griffiths told racing.com.
The Quarterback is at his best down the Flemington straight with five of his nine wins there including a victory in the Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington during the 2016 Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
Griffiths will now have to treat The Quarterback’s cuts and swelling and give him time to recovery and hope he responds quickly to his treatment to be fir for the Autumn.
The Quarterback wasn’t without a win this preparation and kicked off his Spring Carnival campaign with a win in the Group 2 $200,000 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 2 followed by a fourth to Rebel Dane in the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 21.
Darley Classic winner Malaguerra was having his second start for the Peter Gelagotis stable and followed his second to Star Turn in the Group 2 $400,000 Mitsubishi Electric Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on October 8.
Runner up Spieth was the unlucky runner of the Darley Classic and after being held up for a run at a crucial stage at the 350m mark, flashed to the line when Brad Rawiller found a gap to be beaten a nose by Malaguerra.