The weekend’s feature race favourite Big Duke...
The Phillip Stokes-trained Mr Quickie is now a Group 1 winner after claiming Saturday’s $600,000 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm.
Only a month after placing third in the South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville, the $2.80 favourite ran every bit like a winner heading down the straight to see out the last 200m and win by a length.
It wasn’t a pretty start for the heavily backed runner who was held up in traffic after the jump. It was also a nail-biting wait for punters as the end result went to a protest for alleged interference between second place-getter Vow and Declare over the final 300m.
In the end, Mr Quickie was declared the winner, the right result for jockey John Allen, who stayed patient over the journey to shuffle up on the inside at the bend before pouncing to take the lead quickly.
“From barrier three I thought we might sit a bit closer, just started slowly again. He relaxed beautifully on the fence, we were back a bit well and all was travelling well and we took a few tight caps when we needed them but he was always going well, when we got out in the open he really took them up, he wandered around a bit in the straight but too good for them” Allen said after the race.
Mr Quickie drifted all the way out to $3.10 on Friday before firming into $2.80 with Ladbrokes before the jump. The three-year-old has now won nine of his 12 starts heading into what could be a winning Spring.
“Johnny gave a great ride, we stuck with him and he wove his magic,” Stokes said.
“He’ll be my first Group 1 winner out of Pakenham. We just flew this horse up here a couple of days ago, credit to the horse, he is a serious horse. We’ve hit the ground running, it’s a credit to all my staff, it’s a big thrill.”
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