Fresh off the back of an impressive victory in the featured Grafton Cup (2350m) at the Clarence River Jockey Club last week, trainer Gai Waterhouse has revealed in-form stayer Queenstown has briefly returned to the spelling paddock ahead of a 2014 spring preparation geared towards the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) on October 4th.
Running on from the rear of the field to finish third in the Octagonal Handicap (1400m) first-up on May 31st, Queenstown has quickly built to the task over three starts this time in; unlucky to be blocked for a run and fifth in the Listed Mercedes Benz Centenary Mile (1600m) in her only other appearance prior to the Grafton Cup triumph.
In the same week as confirming classy stable mates The Offer, Diamond Drille and Sweet Idea for barrier trials, Waterhouse told The Daily Telegraph the current racing schedule doesn’t suit Queenstown, who will instead take a brief break before returning for spring.
“I’ve had a look at the programs in Sydney and Melbourne and there is nothing for her at this time of year,” Waterhouse said.
“We will have to give her a little break and then look at races like the Newcastle Gold Cup, The Metropolitan and even the Caulfield Cup.”
Claiming a total of five wins and eight minor places from just 16 competitive race starts to date, Queenstown was a notable performer over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival; claiming back-to-back second placings in her first two starts, including the Group 3 Angst Stakes (1600m) on October 12th.
Returning to the winner’s circle in the City Jeep Handicap (2040m) on October 25th, the Stratum mare was unlucky to finish second by a nose in the Group 2 Momentum Energy Stakes (2000m) on November 9th before running on from the rear of the field to finish third behind Sertorius and Epingle in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m).
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