Quarterbar Becomes An Unlikely Derby Threat

Mike Moroney

Mike Moroney is confident Quarterbar can handle the Queensland Derby distance

Quarterbar looked like anything but a Derby horse when he raced at Doomben two weeks ago but some good work from his trainer and an amazing form reversal just might get him into the field.

Quarterbar won by an easy four length margin in a 2220m race at Doomben today and as a result may have earned enough to sneak into the Queensland Derby field.

Trainer Mike Moroney is hopeful that’s the case and is confident he’d handle the 2400m trip at Eagle Farm on Saturday week.

“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 made the decision to remove the blinkers for today’s run and it seemed to work wonders, Quarterbar looked like a completely different horse.

“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.”

Like many Moroney wasn’t convinced with the colt and was unsure if he had the heart to crack it as a quality staying type.

Buoyed by the advice of numerous jockeys though he gave him another chance and the horse grabbed it convincingly.

“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.”

There was a bit of confidence around Quarterbar’s trip to Brisbane and that only increased when he ran second in his Queensland debut at Eagle Farm early in May.

He went into the Rough Habit Stakes with each-way backing but the run was extremely poor languishing well back in 11th when Fillydelphia went past the line.

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

Before Brisbane he contested the Autumn races in Melbourne after Moroney bought him from a New Zealand yearling sale.

“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.”

The win today has convinced Moroney of his staying credentials and if he doesn’t win the Derby it’ll be due to class, not the 2400m.

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

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