Eagle Farm’s Desleigh Forster is hoping her smart stallion Too Good To Refuse can earn a start in next month’s Magic Millions Cup on the Gold Coast via a qualifying win in Brisbane this weekend.
The four-year-old son of Rothesay lines-up at his home track at Eagle Farm Racecourse on Saturday as one of thirteen hopefuls in the $150,000 Buffering Quality Handicap (1300m).
One of four “wildcard races” offering automatic entry to the winner into the Magic Millions Raceday on January 14, the Buffering Quality shapes up as a key lead-up to this summer’s $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m).
Too Good To Refuse is the current $2.90 second elect to take out the race and make the Magic Millions Cup field with the win via Ladbrokes.com.au.
He caught the eye last start at Doomben on December 17, running on well when second to Most Important in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m).
Prior to that he finished fifth to the same horse in the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m), which followed his nearly two length November victory in the Listed Keith Noud Quality (1200m).
Veteran Queensland jockey Jim Byrne continues his association with the horse on Saturday from barrier five where Too Good To Refuse looks well-suited on 54.5kg back at the Farm.
“It would be a good way to finish the summer for him if he can get a wild card into the Magic Millions,” Forster told AAP.
The Tony Gollan-trained Most Important shapes up as the big danger again in the Buffering Quality, the four-year-old son of I Am Invincible chasing his third straight Brisbane Black-Type win this time in.
He rises from 56kg last start to 58kg on the weekend with Robbie Fradd retaining the ride on the current $2.70 favourite.
Forster is dually represented at the New Year’s Eve racing meet on Saturday also saddling-up he in-form Showcasing gelding Cylinder Beach in the $250,000 Listed Magic Millions Bernborough Quality Handicap (1600m).
The field for the mile clash is down to a dozen starters from the early scratchings of final acceptors Duca Valentinois (4) and Spur Le Jouer (7).
Bruce Hill’s Lope De Vega four-year-old Man Of His Word is early favourite to post a third straight win after beating home Cylinder Beach by one and three-quarter lengths in the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1600m) last start at Doomben.
Cylinder Beach is out to turn the tables and returning to winning form to see out his summer carnival and even from the outside alley, looks well positioned coming down to 55kg.
“Cylinder Beach is by a New Zealand sire and not eligible for the [Magic Millions] series,” Forster said.
“I have been happy with them [Cylinder Beach and Too Good To Refuse] this time and they have lived up to expectations.
“They haven’t always had the best of luck but when you are racing quality horses you have to expect that things won’t always go your way.
“At their last starts both got a long way back in the field but finished off the races just the way you want.”
While the current campaign for both horses is coming to a close, Forster believes her two gun four-year-olds are in for bigger and better things during 2017.
“I might take them to Sydney for the autumn carnival but Brisbane’s winter has always been my aim for them,” she said.
“There are some races in Sydney which would suit them both around the 1600 metre range. Of course the Stradbroke Handicap here is in the back of my mind.”
Queensland’s richest race and the highlight of the annual Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, the $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) takes place in June at Eagle Farm.