GRIFFITHS AFTER G1 BREAKTHROUGH IN GUINEAS
Thursday, 27 February 2014:
Robbie Griffiths has The Quarterback ready to peak in the Australian Guineas and hopes that can be good enough to land him his first Group One as a trainer.
But Griffiths knows it will not be easy against in-form Hucklebuck, CF Orr Stakes runner-up Eurozone and Cox Plate winner Shamus Award.
The Quarterback has filled the minor placing in two Guineas lead-ups and heads into Saturday's race at Flemington on the fourth line of betting.
"The aim has been to have him in peak condition and I feel as though he has done everything right and gives us the indicators to suggest he'll give us a peak run on Saturday," Griffiths said.
"And hopefully that's good enough, because it's a pretty hot race."
The trainer agrees Hucklebuck - the $3.80 market leader - deserves favouritism on the back of his CS Hayes Stakes win where he defeated The Quarterback by just over two lengths.
"I can see why he's favourite. His form is faultless and his win was very good the other day," Griffiths said.
Eurozone and Shamus Award, meanwhile, head into the Guineas off a different formline with placings in the weight-for-age CF Orr Stakes behind in-form older sprinter Moment Of Change.
They occupy the second and third lines of respectively at $4.40 and $5.50, with The Quarterback at $11.
The Quarterback has barrier 11 and Griffiths is hoping for a genuine tempo to give his runner the chance to finish strongly.
"I think we're in the mix and I think that's the best way to sum up our chances," Griffiths said.
"We've got a ticket and we're a genuine chance but you can't be any more confident than that."
The Quarterback emerged last spring with provincial wins at Bairnsdale and Sale.
He resumed with an eye-catching third in the Manfred Stakes before his third in the CS Hayes.