Light Spring for 2015 Newmarket Handicap Hope The Quarterback

Cranbourne trainer Robbie Griffiths will take the soft and gentle approach with promising gelding The Quarterback who won’t be tested at Group 1 level again until their Newmarket Handicap 2015 campaign next autumn.

The Quarterback

The Quarterback will have a low key spring ahead of a 2015 Newmarket Handicap prep next autumn. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

The Street Boss three-year-old has enjoyed three wins and a trio more minor placings from their nine starts to date.

They were put up against elite level company at Flemington back in early March on the back of two good Group 3 thirds in Melbourne when racing in the Australian Guineas over the mile.

After suffering from respiratory issues they failed their Guineas assignment however only managing to run six lengths away 11th to subsequent Cox Plate hero Shamus Award.

Griffiths stepped The Quarterback down in class and distance for their next two runs that included a nearly two length Caulfield victory over 1200m on April 19.

At their latest start the rising four-year-old raced in Adelaide when fifth to former Group 1 champion Miracles Of Life in the Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on May 3.

Given a rest after that the horse is now gearing up for their spring return.

“He had six weeks out after Adelaide, he had a nice rest, he filled out a bit, he gained weight probably more so a bit of paddock weight. I hope it stays on him,” Griffiths said.

“If it stays on him that would be good, you like them to get a little bit heavier and stronger, he looks good he looks stronger I’m happy with him.”

They won’t however be put on a Group 1 campaign this coming preparation.

Instead Griffiths will take it slowly to build up their ability, confidence and maturity before next year’s Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.

There he’s already earmarked The Quarterback for the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m), Australia’s premier sprint held at Flemington Racecourse in early March.

“He’s a gelding, he’s not going to be whizzing off to stud anywhere, so he doesn’t have to jump in the deep end and be poorly weighted, even the minimum in some of those races sprint races he’d probably be poorly weighted,” Griffiths said.

“I’d probably rather go down the gently, gently path and then maybe look at him as a sprinter in the autumn of next preparation.

“But anyway, he is once again like all horses at this time of year, his immediate form is going to determine what path he takes.”

Until then however the galloper will be given all the time they need to peak and hopefully secure a few lower key race sprints now that Griffiths has determined their inability over more ground.

“The Quarterback I’d be looking at second tier sprints,” Griffiths said.

“He’s got a lot of potential but he’s still not a highly-rated horse.”

Griffiths is looking at kicking off their campaign at Caulfield on Memsie Stakes Day on August 30.

“He could kick-off around the time of that Heath 1100 meeting, maybe that Stakes race there we could go to, or maybe into a restricted race a 0 – 90 or something around there in late August slash first week in September,” he said.

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