Trainer Robbie Griffiths is confident that The Quarterback can overturn his luckless performance in last year’s edition of the race, when he steps out in Friday’s Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
The Quarterback was considered a leading contender in the most recent edition of the William Reid Stakes after he stormed home to post a maiden Group 1 win in the Newmarket Handicap (1200m), but the gelding missed the start at Moonee Valley before finishing fifth.
Griffiths believes that the horse would have been right in the finish of the William Reid Stakes if he had not missed the jump and is confident that his first-up run this time, albeit a lacklustre tenth in the Newmarket Handicap, has brought him on ahead of Friday’s feature.
“When you break down last year’s race with the start he gave away at the beginning of the event, you would think he would’ve been right in the thick of things had he not done that,” Griffiths told Racing Victoria.
“His runs at The Valley have been quite good – his style of racing there leaves him a bit vulnerable.
“His performances have been good there, so hopefully we can get a good crack at them.
“There was a lot of track bias on the day, so it was hard to assess the Newmarket run, there was a lot of track bias on the day, and it made it hard to work out how we ran.
“We think we ran well, Froggy Newitt was really pleased with him, and he worked well this morning so we hope to see the real Quarterback on Friday night.”
The Quarterback began to tail off after his run in last year’s William Reid Stakes; placing third in the Vobis Gold Sprint (1200m) and ninth in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m), but returned in spring for a dominant win in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m).
Progressing to fourth in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley, the Street Boss gelding was returned to the paddock after finishing sixth in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 5th.
The Quarterback is currently available at early William Reid Stakes odds of $21 at Ladbrokes.com.au.