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Mr Quickie continues path towards Derby

Mr Quickie.
Promising stayer Mr Quickie rounds off his South Australian Derby campaign against older horses.

South Australian Derby favourite Mr Quickie will take on older horses at Caulfield when he attempts to get back to winning ways in his final lead-up to his main target in Adelaide.

The three-year-old had won six straight races before being chased down in the final stride by Grinzinger Star over 1600m at Caulfield on April 6, carrying 6kg more than the winner.

The Danny O’Brien-trained Grinzinger Star has confirmed that form with another victory over 2000m at Caulfield last Saturday, while trainer Phillip Stokes has waited for this Saturday’s $250,000 VOBIS Gold Heath (2000m), two weeks before the Group One SA Derby, with Mr Quickie.

After carrying 60kg against his own age last start, Mr Quickie drops to 56kg in Saturday’s race in which he has been installed an odds-on favourite in an early market against a field of seven including last-start Caulfield winner Mahamedeis and last year’s Geelong Cup winner Runaway.

“We’ve just lengthened his work a little bit now,” Stokes said.

“It’s a small field and a competitive field, taking on the older horses, but I’m happy with him and I’m expecting a good run.

“The form has been franked from his last start. There was six kilos between the two and weight stops them.

“He hit the front and tried hard but he was just beaten by a bob of the head.

“That didn’t really worry me and he is proven at 2000 metres.

“Obviously going to the 2500 metres in the Derby is a different ball game again but I’m sure he will relax nicely on Saturday, get a nice run from barrier one, and be thereabouts again.”

Some corporate bookmakers have Mr Quickie at the head of all-in markets for the SA Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 11, just ahead of Grinzinger Star.

John Allen had been due to ride Mr Quickie on Saturday but misses the Caulfield meeting through a careless riding suspension so Ben Allen re-unites with the gelding.

Ben Allen is unbeaten on Mr Quickie from two rides.

“John will ride him in the Derby but obviously it was a no-brainer to put Benny back on this Saturday,” Stokes said.

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