Last year’s Queensland Guineas winner Torio’s Quest has impressed in his first stop on the road to a tilt at the Group 1 2012 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9.
The Brett Partelle-trained four-year-old underwent a 900-metre barrier trial yesterday and performed strongly according to his trainer.
Partelle said he was pleased with his trial form and suggested he was well on the way to achieving his best form in the upcoming Brisbane Winter Carnival.
“He settled way back and hit the line with huge gusto. Hughie [Bowman] was very happy with him and I was very happy,” he said.
“He’s very close to being back at his top.”
The $1 million Stradbroke Handicap is the target this campaign but the son of Oratorio will have two lead-up races, beginning in Scone on Friday week before heading to Brisbane for the QTC Cup on June 2.
The four-year-old gelding has won five times from 13 starts and collected over $850,000 in prize money but has experienced his two worst results of his career in his last two starts.
He finished off his spring campaign running last in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap and in just one 2012 start again finished at the back of the field in the Canterbury Stakes.
A number of quality horses have been nominated for the feature event and impressive Lohnro three-year-old Mental is the early favourite ($8.00) ahead of Queensland star Buffering ($9.00).
Next back in the betting is 2011 runner-up Beaded ($11.00), Gosford Guineas winner Pampelonne ($11.00) and Peter Moody-trained mare Mid Summer Music ($12.00).
To see the full preliminary Stradbroke market, head to bookmaker.com.au, the bookie with the best odds.
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