The Quarterback produced an incredible performance to win the Listed Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on Crown Oaks Day this afternoon and may have booked a ticket west for a tilt at the 2015 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) according to trainer Robbie Griffiths.
Jumping from the gates only fairly, jockey Matthew Allen was forced to settle The Quarterback off the pace of the race’s early leaders but the horse responded well and found a great rhythm by the time the field entered the Flemington course proper.
Steadily spooling up, Allen pushed The Quarterback to the outside rail and asked for an extra effort with 300m to run; the five-year-old responding with a monster turn of foot to post a seventh career victory in his twenty-first competitive start.
Griffiths was on hand for The Quarterback’s blistering performance in the Dilmah Earl Grey Stakes and confirmed the Street Boss gelding has been included in 2015 Winterbottom Stakes nominations and may warrant a berth.
“He’s an exciting horse. He’s got a massive finish and when he unleashes it like he did today it’s exciting to watch,” Griffiths told the media after the race.
“I was concerned (he was too far back) but I could see Matthew had a good hold of him and he knows that he can time the run like that on him. He’s got a lot of belief in the horse and he knows his capabilities.
“My confidence had gone south pre-race but the horse was peaking, he was set for the race, this was the race that we wanted to win.
“He won on a slow track one day at Caulfield but we thought he was a bit lucky that day and with his leg speed and the sectional times that he can run we always thought he’d be a better dry-track horse but it’s nice to be wrong and I’m very happy about it.
“We’ve entered him in the Winterbottom, which might be a bit beyond him.
“Otherwise there’s some really nice sprints in January like the Standish and Kensington here at Flemington and he’s got such a great record at Flemington down the straight that you’d be mad not to look at races like that.”
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best early 2015 Winterbottom Stakes odds, for which The Quarterback is available at generous quote of $21 for success.