By Andrew Eddy and Adam McGrath of racing.com
Mr Quickie is most likely to press-on towards Saturday week’s $5 million Caulfield Cup after emerging unscathed from his unplaced Turnbull Stakes performance.
Trainer Phillip Stokes said on Monday that after ‘’a bit of head scratching’’ when the horse beat just one rival home in the Turnbull, he said he was willing put the run down to a mixture of factors.
‘’After his first-up run (third Makybe Diva Stakes), which I thought was a career-best – his sectionals pointed to that – it was always going to be hard to repeat that so from that sticky barrier we ended up going back to second last there,’’ Stokes said.
‘’It was a really funny day of racing at Flemington. There were horses in the middle of the track that were finding it hard to make up ground.
‘’Just a bit inconclusive. We walked away from it scratching our head a bit.
‘’But the horse has pulled up fine on face value so as long as he keeps improving and we’re pleased with him, we’ll probably look to go to the Caulfield Cup.
‘’Now he’s got that second up run under his belt, we should hopefully have him cherry ripe.
‘’He’s eaten up and done everything right so there are no problems there.’’
Meanwhile, Craig Williams will ride Vow And Declare in the Caulfield Cup if the four-year-old races there following his strong first-up performance in the Turnbull Stakes.
Coming off a 3000-metre win in Queensland in June, Vow And Declare sprinted home with Mystic Journey to claim fourth spot in the Turnbull but trainer Danny O’Brien said he figures the horse will need to run again before the Melbourne Cup.
He said Williams would ride if he runs in the Caulfield Cup and Damien Oliver was likely to stick with him if he instead goes to the Geelong Cup.
Bjorn Baker said he doubted whether his in-form galloper Samadoubt will tackle the Caulfield Cup despite another strong effort when he beat all but Verry Elleegant in the Hill Stakes at Randwick last Saturday.
Samadoubt is yet to run the 2400-metre trip of the Caulfield Cup and Baker is leaning towards waiting for the group 1 Mackinnon Stakes over the Flemington carnival.
Self Sense, who holds a guaranteed spot in the Caulfield Cup, must prove his form in Saturday’s Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes for him to progress to the $5 million Cup a week later.
Trainer David Brideoake said on Monday that he would not accept in the Caulfield Cup with Self Sense next week If the horse does not show some form after a disappointing start to the nine-year-old’s spring campaign.
Brideoake confirmed his Group 1 Oaks winner Princess Jenni would line-up in Saturday’s Group 1 Toorak Handicap.