Robbie Griffiths is hoping history can repeat in Saturday’s Newmarket Handicap with his sprinter Halvorsen and he can emulate The Quarterback’s win in the same race in 2016.
Griffiths said there are similarities between the pair with their racing styles but it was his last start seventh in the Oakleigh Plate where it really struck him.
“They were very similar runs. The Quarterback rocketed home to finish sixth and I left the races that day with a feeling he could win the Newmarket,” Griffiths said.
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“He reminded me a lot of The Quarterback that day. It was every bit as good as his Oakleigh Plate run.”
“Luke Currie that day said it was The Quarterback’s best run and I thought that was Halvorsen’s best run.”
“I thought Halvorsen’s seventh was on a par with that run. He was slow to begin, he’s spotted Pippie 16 lengths before the turn and the fact he got get within three lengths of her on a track which played to front runners was remarkable.”
Trainer Robbie Griffiths believes Halvorsen maps well for the Newmarket Handicap after his previous performance.Source:AAP
Griffiths said Halvorsen missed the start in the Oakleigh Plate and if he hadn’t he would have settled four lengths closer in the run and gone close to winning.
Griffiths said his worry before the Newmarket with The Quarterback was that he was up against a champion in Chautauqua.
“This time I think the stumbling blocks are the three-year-olds who look well in on the weights.”
Griffiths received another confidence booster for Halvorsen’s Newmarket prospects when Gytrash won the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes.
Last winter Halvorsen finished second to Gytrash over 1000m at Flemington.
Prior to the Oakleigh Plate Halvorsen won three races in a row at Flemington down the straight with the last one the Standish Handicap on January 1 where he defeated the in-form Bold Star.
Halvorsen is $21 at TAB fixed odds. The same price as The Quarterback was when he won.
Newmarket handicap winner The Quarterback and Robbie Griffiths.Source:News Corp Australia
GROUP 1, FLEMINGTON, RACE 6 3.25pm
Track: Heavy 8
Rail: Out 8m (out 4m Wednesday)
Weather: 19C Overcast
His love affair with the Flemington straight stepped up a notch at his last start when he won the Black Caviar Lightning to make it three from three at the track. The merit of the victory was slightly overshadowed by Nature Strip’s flop and the commentary that he was in the faster part of the track. Bottom line is he ran down Redzel and left him in his lurch. Carries a big weight though.
Another straight track specialist who resumed with a sizzling run when second in the Oakleigh Plate, Last spring he won the Bobbie Lewis Stakes in 1:08.73 min for 1200m and then ran third to Sunlight and Santa Ana Lane carrying similar weight to that pair. If track was firm he’d be in it up to his eyeballs.
THE INEVITABLE ($8.50)
Tassie midget who has had nine starts at 1400m and under for eight wins. He’s been set for this and a winner this track and he looked sensational winning a 1000m trial at Elwick recently.
Despite the pattern of racing being against him last start he was backed as if he was unbeatable but the bias and sitting wide brought about his undoing. He’s against his great rival Exceedance and they have clashed four times and are two apiece including the Coolmore where he was run down by him in the closing stages.
Team Hawkes have shown their faith in this three-year-old colt’s ability by trying to achieve the rare feat of winning this first-up which only two horses have done since 1917. This lightly raced colt has the talent to do it though. He flew home to win the Coolmore Stud Stakes at his last run this track and distance. He’s only had six starts for three wins and three thirds where he flew home each time. Recent jump-outs suggest he’s ready to fly.
LOVING GABY ($5.50)
Brilliant filly who was on the wrong part of the track in the Black Caviar Lightning where she left Nature Strip in her wake. She’ll carry 52.5 kilos and will try and follow in the footsteps of another three-year-old filly Sunlight who won this race last year. Expect Craig Williams to make the most of her speed from barrier four.
Halvorsen salutes at Caulfield in April last year.Source:AAP
Recorded the fastest last 800m for the day when he finished seventh in the Oakleigh Plate flying home in 43.23 seconds. He gave away a huge start so his effort to be beaten only 2.85 lengths was huge. His effort was similar to stablemate The Quarterback’s in the same race before he won the 2016 Newmarket. He also loves this track and has form around Gytrash.
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The Banker: Off & Racing – March 5
The Off & Racing team look to pick a sure thing ahead of the weekend’s races.
No deadset flying machine so it will be interesting and most like to sit and sprint. Look for DESPATCH and BIVOUAC to push forward. Craig Williams is sure to have LOVING GABY close to the lead. EXCEEDANCE can settle mid-field.
75% of stake on Exceedance. The rest on Loving Gaby as Williams might be able to steal a break on his rivals.
Five three-year-olds have won this century including last year’s winner Sunlight. Five Lightning Stakes winners have won this race this century. Four placegetters in that race also have won.
“Hopefully he can camp a bit closer to the lead than he did in the Oakleigh Plate. This is the premier handicap sprint in the country, after the Oakleigh Plate he’s got a bit to prove, his work on Tuesday had some electricity about it. He’s coiled up, tuned up, wound up and ready to show what a brilliant colt he is.”
2. Loving Gaby
Sky Racing news update 05.03.2020
Sky Racing news update 05.03.2020.
Originally published asWhy a trainer is seeing double in premier sprint
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