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The Quarterback facing up to challenge

Robbie Griffiths says he’s open to the idea of running The Quarterback in Australia’s new richest race, but only if a sponsor can be found.

Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club announced on Wednesday a $10 million race, The Everest, run over 1200m at Randwick, would be run on October 14.

The race, for which participants have to pay to take part, falls between two Group One Melbourne sprints, the Moir Stakes and Manikato Stakes and is run the same day as the Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield.

Griffiths said if The Quarterback’s form warranted someone paying the $600,000 entry fee and a financial deal could be worked out, the gelding could be a contender.

The Quarterback is one of Australia’s leading sprinters having won last year’s Newmarket Handicap at Flemington.

Last spring he made a winning return in the Gilgai Stakes at Flemington on October 2 before running fourth in the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on October 21.

He wound up his spring finishing sixth in the Darley Classic on November 5 after being galloped on.

Griffiths said a stud may wish to sponsor one of their progeny to run for the big money being offered.

“If Darley, which owns Street Boss, for example, thought The Quarterback was a good candidate for the race you could imagine that would be a good marketing strategy for Street Boss,” Griffiths said.

“If stallion owners and breeding farms have that mindset, that might be a way around filling those slots rather than getting the owners to stump up the money because they might be reluctant to do so.”

The Quarterback is about to embark on his autumn campaign beginning wiht the Lightning Stakes on February 18 before a defence of the Newmarket Handicap on March 11.

The gelding is set to trial over 800m at Cranbourne on Monday in the opening heat, where he is up against Group One winners Flying Artie, Extreme Choice, Abbey Marie and Under The Louvre.

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