Yet to break through for a maiden victory at Group 1 level, trainer Troy Corstens is confident he is in the best position to break the drought when saddling exciting stayer Pinstripe Lane in this weekend’s Queensland Derby (2400m) at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Racecourse.
Producing a strong turn of foot to finish second to outright Queensland Derby favourite Vilanova in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) last time out at Doomben, Corstens said he is confident both the work produced by Pinstripe Lane over the last week and the wider Eagle Farm track offers the three-year-old every chance of going one better this weekend.
“He copped a little bit of interference and a bit of bad luck (Grand Prix Stakes), but I still liked the way he hit the line. I thought it augured very well for getting him over to the bigger track at Eagle Farm,” Corstens told AAP.
“We’ve set him for this. It’s been the long term plan and it all looks like it’s coming together. He is fit and well and spot-on. I don’t think I can have him any better.”
Arguably reaching peak condition in strolling home to win the Rexel 3.y.o (1900m) from classy competition prior to the Grand Prix Stakes, Corstens said he could not be happier with the Pins colt ahead of his biggest test to date this weekend.
“As long as Pinstripe Lane runs well I’ll be happy. If I could win it, it would be out of this world,” Corstens said.
“I wouldn’t swap him for anything in the race at the moment. Whether he’s good enough to win remains to be seen but I’m confident he’s going to run a huge race.”
Claiming a total of two race wins and as many minor places from just eleven competitive starts to date, Pinstripe Lane was a standout performer over his maiden preparation in the 2013 spring; winning the Trios Sport Club Plate (2060m) and finishing third in the Group 2 Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m) before an unsuccessful tilt at the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m).
Hopeful of a favourable gate allocation come Wednesday’s Queensland Derby barrier draw, Pinstripe Lane is currently tied with Elusive Runner on the second line of betting for success in this weekend’s Group 1 at a quote of $4.80.
Strolling home to win the Grand Prix Stakes last time out, Vilanova has maintained outright favouritism at current $3.80 odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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