Jockey Brad Rawiller believes Darren Weir’s last start SA Derby winner Howard Be Thy Name will be hard to beat again despite the young gun dropping in distance for his Doomben assignment on Saturday in Brisbane.
The Redoute’s Choice colt posted his fourth straight win and the fifth overall in his 11-start career to date on May 14 at Morphettville taking out the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m).
This weekend he is looking to keep the good form going when making his Queensland debut on Doomben 10,000 Day in the $150,000 Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m).
Thirteen three-year-olds remain in the mix for the set weights clash after the early scratching of Chris Waller’s last start Rosehill winner Encosta Line.
Waller still saddles-up two chances in the race including the clear $2.25 favourite in Grand Prix Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, Mackintosh.
Pins gelding Mackintosh won the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at the track by nearly three lengths a fortnight back on BTC Cup Day.
He also leads the all-in markets for the $600,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Handicap Day, June 11, which Waller won in 2013 with Hawkspur.
Also Queensland Derby-bound and running in the Grand Prix on the back of a big win, Howard Be Thy Name is the $4.50 second favourite in betting for Saturday.
That’s a generous price according to Rawiller, who rode the 2012 Queensland Derby winner Brambles to victory, and who is thrilled with the progress of Weir’s ultra-consistent galloper since the SA Derby.
“He’s won four in a row and now going for five and the horse hasn’t taken a step backwards,” Rawiller told Racing Victoria.
“I worked him earlier in the week and I’m really happy with how he’s going.
“It’s pretty incredible when you think about how he has strung this many wins together as well as winning the [SA] Derby last time.
“He’s going to be hard to beat.”
The only possible concerns for Rawiller is how Howard Be Thy Name will handle racing the opposite way of going and the wide barrier 10 of 13 draw, whereas Mackintosh will get a gun run from gate three.
“We’re going the opposite way for the first time, which will be something different for him and we’re drawn a little bit awkward (barrier 10) but if I can give him a nice ride I expect him to run well,” he said.
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