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Victorian stayer Quarterbar may have raced his way into Group One Queensland Derby contention on Saturday week with his impressive victory at Doomben.

Quarterbar, ridden by Kiwi jockey Chad Ormsby, strolled to a convincing four-length win over Man From Oz in Wednesday’s B105 Three-year-old Handicap (2220m).

Andre’s Choice was a further 2-3/4 lengths away third.

Trainer Mike Moroney has his fingers crossed Quarterbar’s win has given him enough prizemoney to qualify for the Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm.

“He’s won more than $30,000 in prizemoney now so you’d think that should be enough to get him into the Derby,” Moroney said.

Moroney pulled a masterstroke to get the son of Oratorio to strike his best form by removing blinkers from the colt.

“We took the blinkers off him hoping it might work,” Moroney said.

“He also was threatened with being gelded if he hadn’t won today.”

Moroney has held some reservations Quarterbar was a genuine stayer but persevered on the advice from some of the colt’s previous riders.

“I’ve had my doubts he would stay but a lot of the jockeys who have ridden him kept saying he would,” Moroney said.

“He was going to win a long way from home and he’s well bred on the dam side which throws back to Twig Moss.”

Quarterbar finished second at his Queensland debut behind Break The Ice in a class three over 1800 metres at Eagle Farm on May 4 before putting in a below-par performance when 11th to Fillydelphia in the Group Three Rough Habit Plate (2020m) at Doomben on May 14.

“We’re not sure what happened but for some reason he raced erratically last time,” Moroney said.

Moroney bought Quarterbar at a ready to run sale as a yearling in New Zealand.

“We thought he would make a Guineas horse so we took him over to Melbourne for the Caulfield Guineas,” he said.

“Unfortunately he didn’t do any good in the Guineas so we ran in the AAMI Vase to get ready for the (Victoria) Derby but he ran a dreadful race.

“He was unlucky not to win at Sandown a few starts ago when he clipped heels and almost fell.”

Although Moroney originally doubted Quarterbar’s stamina he is now confident he can handle the 2400 metres of the Queensland Derby.

“Now that we’ve worked him out and we’ve taken the blinkers off him he should get the trip,” he said.

[02 Jun 11]


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