Queensland Derby winner Mr Quickie will be out to deliver on a long-range plan when he chases All-Star Mile glory first-up from a spell.
Connections of the four-year-old gelding decided after his spring campaign to set him for Saturday’s $5 million 1600m All Star Mile at Caulfield without a lead-up run.
Trainer Phillip Stokes says everything has gone to plan in the build-up for Mr Quickie who finished seventh in the public poll to secure his place in the race.
Mr Quickie charged home for an eye-catching third in the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) first-up last spring and Stokes has taken a similar approach to prepare him for the All-Star Mile with two barrier trials leading in.
Champion jockey Damien Oliver, who rides Mr Quickie in a race for the first time on Saturday, has been aboard in some important lead-up work including the two trials and his final serious gallop at Pakenham on Tuesday.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Stokes said.
“He’s shown me all the right signs.
“His trials have been on par with what he was doing before last prep.
“He’s a bigger and stronger horse and we know that his first-up form is good.
“Damien Oliver rode him in his last gallop on Tuesday and he pulled up well in the wind so I feel his fitness and everything is good.
“He’ll run a big race.”
While Stokes is happy with Mr Quickie, the trainer is also recognises it is a tough race with the field of 15 stronger than he initially anticipated.
Mr Quickie is one of 10 individual Group One winners in the field.
“It’s a good race,” Stokes said.
“He’ll be there midfield to second half and he’ll need the luck and the runs to come his way.
“Hopefully D Oliver can weave his magic.”
Mr Quickie was at $13 on race eve with Alligator Blood, one of five three-year-olds in the field, the $2.80 favourite.
Stokes expects Alligator Blood, winner of 10 of his 11 starts including the recent Australian Guineas, to be one of the hardest to beat.
“I just hope they don’t give him too easy a time in front otherwise no-one will be chasing him down,” he said.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au