Queensland Derby winner Mr Quickie will make his spring return in the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes.
Having proved his class against his own age group, it is now time for Mr Quickie to step up to the big league.
That is the view of trainer Phillip Stokes ahead of Mr Quickie contesting Saturday’s Group One Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington.
Mr Quickie has his first start as a four-year-old on Saturday having not raced since winning the Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm in June.
A spell in Queensland enjoying the winter sun rather than the cold, wet and windy conditions at Pakenham has Stokes looking forward to the return.
For Stokes, a finish in the top five or six will be a pass mark while also noting there is improvement to come.
“Last time in he won first-up over 1400 metres,” Stokes said.
“He’s had the grounding for it but there’s nothing like match fitness.
“He will improve off it, but it’s a real race and it will give us a good indication of which way we’ll go in the spring.”
Mr Quickie is a first acceptor in the Cox Plate and has been weighted at 53kg and 52.5kg respectively in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
He is also entered in the Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick.
Stokes says there is still a lot to play out before Mr Quickie is considered for any of those spring features.
Since returning from his winter sojourn Mr Quickie has had two Cranbourne trials.
He finished fourth to Humidor over 990m on August 19 and then second to Harbour Views over 1190m two weeks later, both on unsuitable heavy tracks.
“It’s not ideal but that’s what we’ve had and everyone has had to cop the same tracks,” Stokes said.
“He’s finished them off well, done everything required and he’ll appreciate getting on top of the ground.
“My gut feeling is he can finish top five or six.
“He’s more of a race day horse. He doesn’t go breaking any records at home or in his trials, so come race day, I’m sure he’ll run a good race.
Even though Mr Quickie was successful at 2000m and 2400m last campaign, Stokes wants to see the gelding produce his form during the spring.
“I know he’s won over 2000 metres and 2400 metres, but is he a miler?,” Stokes queried.
“Hopefully we’ll find all that out on Saturday.”