By Ray Hickson
If there’s any positive to be taken from Quackerjack’s luckless first-up run, trainer Mark Newnham says the fact it wasn’t a tough run stands him in good stead to atone at Rosehill on Saturday.
Where the three-year-old would have finished had he seen any gaps at Randwick three weeks ago is up for debate but there’s no doubt it was closer than 3.1 lengths from Reginae.
Newnham said he sees Quackerjack as a miler but due to that 'half run' first-up he’ll wait until after the Cabra-Vale Diggers Club Handicap (1300m) to step up.
“This preparation I’ve concentrated on getting him out to a mile, hence the 1300m first-up,’’ Newnham said.
“He’s an above average horse, what level he gets to I’m not sure but am I sure it will be a mile. I just didn’t want to jump straight ot a mile after that run.
“I would have preferred going up in trip and I had him in at Flemington over 1400m last week but when he drew 16 of 16 I wasn’t going there.’’
Quackerjack has no luck first-up at Randwick on September 1
Despite being badly held up for runs, Punters Intel data shows Quackerjack still ran the second fastest last 600m in 33.87 in that first-up run.
He also clocked the fastest 400m-200m of 10.80 before he ran into a brick wall.
“It was pretty obvious that he would have been right in the finish had he had clear ground. I think he went into that race a little underestimated,’’ Newnham said.
“At least he’s had the three weeks between runs, I’ve kept him a little fresh to stay at the 1300m.
“There doesn’t look to be a lot of pace in the race, so hopefully he can take up a better position from a good draw and be hard to hold out.’’
Quackerjack certainly isn’t being overlooked this time around holding second favouritism at $4.80 with TAB.
Newnham said he could end up in Melbourne for a race like the Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) and if he proves up to it be aimed at a Randwick Guineas in the autumn.
Meanwhile, Lanciato did more than enough in his 1030m barrier trial at Roseihll on Friday to satisfy Newnham he’s on track for Saturday week’s Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).
Josh Parr rode the gelding in the trial after a trackwork mishap forced Rachel King to miss the trials and he finished a close fourth behind Single Gaze.
“Josh let him stride on past the post, he was strong through the line,’’ he said.
“A month between runs and a trial in between is his pattern so no need to change from that.’’
Lanciato’s last run was eighth in the Tramway Stakes (1400m) on September 1 beaten three lengths by Comin’ Through.