Connections of Magic Millions Guineas winner Torio’s Quest believe the predicted track conditions at Eagle Farm’s Stradbroke Handicap Day on Saturday will be the key for the Brett Partelle-trained three-year-old to return to form.
Oratorio gelding Torio’s Quest was in career best form during the summer winning the Wyong Magic Millions 3YO Stakes (1200m) at their home track in December before backing up to succeed in January’s $1 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) as a $12 outsider at the Gold Coast.
Sent for a short freshen-up after their Gold Coast triumph Torio’s Quest resumed in late March, their first-up run a flop when finishing over four lengths away eighth to Sea Lord in the Listed Darby Munro Quality (1200m) at Rosehill.
Two more unplaced runs were to follow at Hawkesbury and Scone before Torio’s Quest suffered their worst result from their nine start career to date.
At their most recent run the promising galloper finished 11th in a 12-horse 1400m race at Randwick on May 28, unable to let down in the Heavy conditions of the day.
Now Partelle will try the horse at Brisbane, accepting Torio’s Quest for the $250,000 Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) this Saturday.
“I know he’s going as well as he was when he was winning last preparation and I’m sure he’ll indicate that with his performance on Saturday,” Partelle said.
In the Queensland Guineas markets, that are lead by long-priced favourite Ready To Rip ($6.50), Torio’s Quest is rated a $9 chance after coming up trumps with barrier three.
Partelle believes that Torio’s Quest has failed to impress of late due to the number of Slow to Heavy tracks he has been forced to run him on and hopes the drier conditions at Eagle Farm can reinvigorate the horse’s once very impressive form.
“I’m so looking forward to getting him back on a dry track, up to the mile for the first time and with Hugh Bowman aboard,” Partelle said.
“I’m sure he’ll show he’s right back where he should be.
“I made the statement after the Gold Coast race that he’s a genuine Group horse.”
Following the Queensland Guineas on Saturday, Partelle said he planned to send Torio’s Quest to the paddock ahead of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Another Queensland Guineas hopeful that will be looking to show a turnaround of form is the Peter Snowden-trained Skilled.
Paying $8 in the markets for tomorrow, Commands colt Skilled disappointed Snowden and the punters last Saturday when they ran 10th in the Listed Daybreak Lover Plate (1400m) at Eagle Farm.
The run was hampered by a wide barrier 18 of 18 draw, Skilled having previously ran a credible third to Falino in the Group 3 BTC Classic (1350m) on May 21.
“He was slow out, last out…four deep and went right back to last,” Snowden said of Skilled in the Daybreak Lover.
In the Queensland Guineas Skilled has drawn wide once again with barrier 16, jockey Kerrin McEvoy booked for the ride on the Group 1 Randwick Guineas runner-up.
“The secret to him is he’s got to be up there on the speed,” Snowden said.