Craig Carmody’s lightly-raced three-year-old Single has earned a late shot at Group 1 glory during the Brisbane Winter Carnival, the son of High Chaparral racing into Queensland Derby contention with a maiden city win for both horse and trainer at Rosehill over the weekend.
Having just their third career start on Saturday, Single ($8.50) rose to the occasion and showed great determination when able to beat home the Peter Snowden-trained Forfeiture ($5.50) by a half-length in the $70,000 Bridgeview Hotel Bar & Dining Handicap (1500m), while David Payne’s $3.70 favourite Winning Glory crossed a further two and a quarter lengths away for third.
Randwick-based trainer Carmody, a former jockey, knew Saturday was a big rise in class for his progressive gelding, Single having only had two previous runs in a maiden and a Class 2 handicap at Newcastle, but was confident they had the potential to make a quality stayer.
“He is nicely bred and is a scopy, long-barrelled staying type with a nice turn of foot,” Carmody said of Single before Saturday’s race.
“He has always shown me ability but he took a bit of time to mature and get to the races.”
Single now sits as a $14 chance for the upcoming $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm’s Stradbroke Handicap Day on June 11, having dramatically firmed in from their pre-Saturday price of $26.
“The (Derby) nominations closed early and I threw him in because if he really measured up around this time it was going to be the natural progression for a three-year-old,” Carmody said.
“I wouldn’t completely rule it out at this time.”
Single will next race at Randwick this Saturday before a final decision on whether to press onto the Derby is made.
“I threw in a speculative nomination for the Derby and we’ll see how the next couple of weeks pan out,” Carmody said.
“As long as he pulls up well he will run over 2000 metres at Randwick next Saturday.
“He has continued to step up and he has a fair way to go but has always shown be a lot of promise as a stayer and I came here (to Rosehill on Saturday) confident.”
Queensland Derby odds are still lead by Graeme Rogerson’s Duelled gelding Shootoff at $5.50 after their game fourth place finish behind Scenic Shot in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020m) on Saturday.
Shootoff was beaten a length and a quarter by now dual Doomben Cup winner Shootoff with the local experience of hoop Shane Scriven paying off on the line as favoured imports My Kingdom of Fife and Glass Harmonium finished two-three in the feature.
The other weekend winner soaring up the Queensland Derby markets was impressive Kiwi filly Scarlett Lady, now the $6 second favourite for next month’s three-year-old classic.
The daughter of Savabeel easily defeated a top class field of fellow fillies at Doomben on Saturday, backing up from her Travis Stakes win in New Zealand to come from behind and take out the Group 3 The Roses (2020m) by three quarters of a length over Savannah’s Choice.
Scarlett Lady, another top three-year-old prepared by Graeme Rogerson, has also now cemented her favouritism for the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 4.
“I will probably come over for the Oaks and the Derby but I had to be at Te Rapa on Saturday,” Rogerson said.
“I watched the races and was very happy with what I saw.”