The Quarterback Sizzles on Oaks Day
Nov 08, 2015
Robbie headed to Flemington full of confidence on Thursday, confident that talented sprinter The Quarterback was nicely primed for the Listed Dilmah Earl Grey Stakes.
But then the weather crashed, the track quickly downgraded and - whilst The Quarterback had saluted on slow going he had never before been confronted with such heavy conditions.
"My confidence went south before the race," Robbie admitted. "This is the race we wanted to win, we had set him for it for six months. But when the rain was hurtling down I was worried."
But as it turned out there was no cause for such concern, The Quarterback quickly settling into stride at the rear of the 15-strong field, getting into a good rhythm along the outside rail.
Still last as the runs begun in earnest, The Quarterback was travelling sweetly and when asked for his effort by regular rider Matthew Allen he simply exploded, charging as Wild Rain skipped clear on the opposite side of the track.
And away he went, his margin a soft 3/4 length. His win, the seventh of his 21 start career, one that has seen him amass in excess of $510,000.
Robbie was not particuarly concerned watching The Quarterback spot his rivals so much ground, knowing just how well Allen knows the dashing chestnut.
"If he had been niggling at him I would've been worried but he had a good hold on him. He knows the horse, he knows what sort of run he can make. He has a lot of belief in him and he knows his capabilities."
"He is a very good horse. He has got a massive finish and when he unleashes it like he did today it is exciting to watch."
Allen was always happy during the run, noting that he was "when I wanted to be."
And he was even happier when The Quarterback began his run.
"He has got such an amazing turn of foot," he enthused, "what a great result!"
Whilst The Quarterback holds a nomination for the Group One Winterbottom Stakes in Perth, Robbie feels that there are plenty of races over the summer and early autumn that suit the horse who has such a love of the Flemington straight.
"There are races like the Standish and the Kensington (a race he won last year). He has got such a good record at Flemington that you'd be mad not to look at races like those.
Congratulations to The Quarterback's happy owners Craig Pearce, Miller Thoroughbred, Robbie Griffiths, Deane Lester (who enjoyed a double, also part owning Berisha who won earlier in the day), P E Miall, John Schuijers, Aaron Lamshed and the Lucky Lammy Syndicate.
A $120,000 Melbourne Premier graduate by Street Boss, The Quarterback is a half-brother to the dual Gr.2 winner Philippi. His dam Soorena, an Encosta de Lago half-sister to the stakes winner Spinning Jenny, foaled a colt by hot young stallion I Am Invincible in early September.
The Quarterback was bred by Rick Jamieson's Gilgai Farm, also breeder of the feature winner of the day, VRC Oaks heroine Jameka.