2015 Oakleigh Plate May Figure for The Quarterback

January 13th, 2015

Arguably returning to racing in career-best form this time in, trainer Robbie Griffiths has revealed talented sprinter The Quarterback has likely earned himself a start in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on February 28th following a comfortable victory in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) over the weekend.

The Quarterback may contest the 2015 Oakleigh Plate. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

The Quarterback may contest the 2015 Oakleigh Plate. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

Securing six wins and a further five minor places from his 15 competitive appearances on course so far, The Quarterback ran a close second in a minor event over 1110m at Sale first-up on October 1st; returning to the winner’s circle in a 1300m Seymour sprint on October 19th before placing a credible sixth amongst classy competition in the Lavazza Short Black (1400m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.

Having since finishing third in the Red Tempo BM90 (1000m) and taken out the Flemington 1840-2015 BM90 (1000m) in the lead-up to his Kensington Stakes triumph, stable representative for Griffiths Don Healy revealed he will continue to allow The Quarterback to build his rating in the lead-up to the Oakleigh Plate, and will enter the four-year-old in the Listed WJ Adams Stakes as a next point of call at Sandown on Australia Day.

“The plan is to let him go through and build up his rating,” Healy told AAP.

“If he earns a start in one of those races then that’s where he’ll head, but his next start will be at Sandown on Australia Day.”

Forced to miss The Quarterback’s victory on New Year’s Day through illness, regular jockey Matthew Allen returned to the saddle for success in the Kensington Stakes and is confident the Street Boss gelding’s style is more than capable of producing top level success in 2015.

“His turn of foot is that good you’ve got to ride him extra cool, almost like you are not going to get there,” Allen said.

“If you go too early he’s going to run out of carrots the last bit.”

Placing third in each of the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at the beginning of his 2014 autumn campaign, The Quarterback was unable to make an impact when eleventh in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), but returned to competitive form when third in the Smithfield Handicap (1200m) and victorious in the Bert Bryant Handicap (1200m); returning to the paddock after placing fifth behind the likes of Group 1 winner Miracles Of Life in the Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200mn) on May 3rd.

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