The Quarterback Targets Winterbottom Stakes 2015

A run in Perth’s 2015 Winterbottom Stakes later this month could be on the cards for Robbie Griffiths’ in-form sprinter The Quarterback following his impressive win in the wet at Flemington on VRC Oaks Day.

The Quarterback

The Quarterback (outside) continued his good form down the Flemington straight with a win in the wet on Crown Oaks Day during the 2015 Melbourne Cup Carnival. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell.

Thursday saw a couple of massive downpours in Melbourne that had most of the Crown Oaks Day races run on a Heavy track including the $150,000 Listed Dilmah Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) won by flying five-year-old The Quarterback.

Ridden by Matthew Allen who was back on-board after Chris Parnham rode the son of Street Boss to a second the start before in black-type company at Caulfield, The Quarterback handled his first look at a mud track with a three-quarter length victory over Wild Rain who were $7.50 equal favourites along with the 13th placed Nicoscene who failed to let down in the wet.

“I was concerned (he was too far back) but I could see (jockey) Matthew (Allen) 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,” the winner’s Cranbourne-based trainer Griffiths said.

“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.”

After the victory Griffiths confirmed he and connections were looking at a trip to WA for the start of the 2015-16 Perth Summer Racing Carnival with the $1 million Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) on Railway Stakes Day at Ascot on November 21 a possible target for The Quarterback.

“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,” he said on Thursday.

“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.”

After yesterday’s black-type success The Quarterback boasts three wins and a third form five runs over 1000m at Flemington.

The $150,000 Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) is a Flemington feature on New Year’s Day while the $120,000 Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) runs on Chester Manifold Stakes Day, January 16, over The Quarterback’s pet distance.

Current all-in Winterbottom Stakes betting at, who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on all Flemington races this Saturday for Emirates Stakes Day, are led by Robert Heathcote’s Brisbane veteran Buffering and the Ciaron Maher-trained mare Srikandi at $6.

Both are multiple Group 1 winners taking on the odds-on favourite Chautauqua in the $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) down the Flemington straight this weekend.

The Quarterback meanwhile can be found further down the futures Winterbottom Stakes odds at $21.

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