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Caulfield horseman Robert Smerdon has confirmed plans to run his out-of-form three-year-old Last Typhoon at Doomben Racecourse on Saturday with hopes of pressing onto next month’s 2016 Queensland Derby.
A key lead-up to the $600,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Handicap Day, June 11, this weekend is host to the $150,000 Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m).
Two of the past three Queensland Derby winners came off a victory in the Grand Prix Stakes with both Brambles (2012) and Hawkspur (2013) completing the double.
A host of Derby hopes again line-up in this year’s Grand Prix Stakes on Doomben 10,000 Day including the Chris Waller-trained Rough Habit Plate winner last time out at the track Mackintosh.
Mackintosh leads all-in Queensland Derby odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $2.80 for the mile and a half classic after his Group 3 win over 2000m at Doomben on May 14.
Smerdon’s Grand Prix – Queensland Derby hope Last Typhoon, formerly prepared by Peter Moody, meanwhile is at a roughie’s price in the futures markets for the Group 1 at $67.
The son of Street Cry is the sole foal out of the former Moody-trained mare Typhoon Tracy, the past Australia Horse of the Year who died after birthing the colt in 2012, has had 10 starts to date for two wins, two seconds and a third.
After success at Donald over 2000m in early March however his latest three runs with Smerdon have seen him well-beaten and finishing at the tail end of the field.
Last time out he crossed nearly six lengths away 11th to 2016 Queensland Oaks-bound filly Tavi Bay over 2000m at Caulfield at fortnight ago, but connections are still keen for the youngster to race during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival starting on Saturday.
“I think he’s going to run the trip and that’s a good starting point,” Smerdon told AAP on Tuesday.
“So we’re certainly keen to give him his chance.”
In an attempt to improve Last Typhoon from his last run, Smerdon said the blinkers would come off and winkers would go on in a gear change for the Derby hopeful.
“He was quite good late in the race, through the line and past the line,” Smerdon said.
“The barrier forced us to go back a bit and Jake (Noonan) said he pulled a bit with the blinkers on. So we’re going to take them off and just leave him with winkers.”
Smerdon is hoping the horse does enough this weekend to make the cut for the Queensland Derby, believing the roomier Eagle Farm track next month will be a better fit than Doomben for Last Typhoon.
From four Queensland Derby runners to date Smerdon has enjoyed two seconds and a third, but is yet to win the classic.
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