A slow early pace meant The Quarterback proved too good for his rivals in Sunday’s Group II Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.
Settled towards of the rear of the small field to halfway, Matthew Allen switched The Quarterback towards the inside rail with 400m to go and was rewarded with instant acceleration.
The Quarterback ($6.50) went clear 200m out and went on to defeat We’ve Got This ($7.50) by three-quarters of a length with Durendal ($14) a half length off third.
Trainer Robbie Griffiths said a slick barrier trial coming into the race had him confident of victory.
“He’s never a brilliant worker but the way he went the other day we were confident – he worked as if he has never been in better form,” Griffiths said.
“We wanted to keep a lid on it as these other horses had race fitness on their side. We thought be realistic and settle for top three.
“We know we’ve got some improvement there going into the next two Group One races – the Manikato and the Darley Classic.”
Griffiths said the race fell nicely for The Quarterback.
“The race panned out nicely for him, what pleased me was I was a bit worried about his fitness as we normally kick him off over a thousand (metres) but we thougfht the small field had the potential for no speed,” he said.
“It wasn’t run like a solid 1200 (metres) so it gives him a chance to travel and we all know he’s got a brilliant turn of speed.
“There’s very few horses that can go with him.”
The Quarterback ran 1:09.07 to win on the upgraded good (3) track.