Chris Waller is offered a great chance of success in Saturday’s 2016 Queensland Derby (2400m) with Mackintosh, but is confident stable mates Encosta Line and Rodrico are also primed for strong performances in the Group 1 race at Eagle Farm.
Encosta Line has more than stamped himself as a runner to follow through a sixteen start racing career; posting two wins and a further eight minors since first appearing on course competitively in early 2015.
Failing to fire in the TAB.com.au BM70 (1600m) on April 6th, the son of Encosta De Lago produced a smart effort to run second in the More Than Winning BM69 (15500m) on April 20th before savaging the line for a dominant four length win in the More Than Ready BM75 (1900m) on May 7th.
Rodrico has found particularly strong form leading into the 2016 Queensland Derby, and will be seeking a second-consecutive wins and fourth this time in the Group 1 feature in Brisbane.
Returning this time for third in the Calvary Mater Hospital Maiden (1350m) on March 12th, Rodrico placed fourth amongst classy company in the Schweppes BM67 (1600m) before taking out each of the Hyland Race Colours Maiden Plate (1600m) and Australian Flying Corps BM66 (1800m).
Placing fourth behind Encosta Line in the More Than Ready BM75, the High Chaparral gelding returned to winning form in the Evans & Partners BM74 (2000m) on May 28th; beating home a number of likely Queensland Derby opponents.
Waller told AAP he is confident the Sydney form of his two ‘forgotten’ runners will count for a lot in the 2016 Queensland Derby.
“You have to respect Sydney Saturday racing,” Waller said.
“It’s very strong and they are both bred to get the 2400 metres.
“Encosta Line has gone to a new level and is ready to step up now and he and Rodrico will leave for Queensland tomorrow.
“He is well into his preparation so he has been able to do plenty of work so missing the Grand Prix shouldn’t be an issue.”
The 2016 Queensland Derby field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best early 2016 Queensland Derby odds, for which Mackintosh remains a $4 favourite, Encosta Line figures as sole occupant of the fourth line at an $8 quote and Rodrico represents particularly good value at $17 odds.