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Caulfield start determines Queensland trip

Trainer Robbie Griffiths is itching to get Charlton out to a staying trip and is disappointed the colt has missed a start in the South Australian Derby.

Instead Charlton is running for a potential Queensland Derby start in the Noel Rundle Handicap at Caulfield on Saturday.

He takes on Queensland Derby co-favourite Mongolian Wolf who, along with stablemate Neverland, has been scratched from Doomben because of transport difficulties between Melbourne and Brisbane.

Despite his of 62kg, offset by the 3kg claim for Mitch Aitken, Mongolian Wolf is Saturday’s $2.40 favourite with Charlton a $21 chance.

A last-start winner of a 2200m Pakenham maiden, Charlton was No. 32 in the order of entry into the South Australian Derby.

“I was disappointed he didn’t get in the Derby,” Griffiths said.

“I think he’s a quality horse that we haven’t seen the best of yet and I think we only scratched the surface last start.”

Griffiths said coming back to 2000 metres was not ideal but he goes into the race knowing the horse is in form.

Two starts ago Charlton finished in front of He Ekscels in a maiden at Sale with that three-year-old since winning at Caulfield as well as being a Derby contender in Adelaide.

Griffiths said the Queensland Derby was not in the original plans but could be used to further Charlton’s education before he has a spell.

“I think he will be better as a four-year-old and five-year-old as he’s taken time maturing,” Griffiths said.

“When we didn’t get a run in Adelaide the back-up plan was to see how he handles himself with racing and if he holds up all right look at going to Brisbane.

“If we do go, he can spell up there, get a bit of sun on his back and have a nice break.”

Griffiths also has Classic Diva (Pancare Foundation Plate), Terindah (Clanbrooke Racing Handicap) and Deja Blue (Catanach’s Jewellers Handicap) running on Saturday.

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