Mackintosh saluted in the Grand Prix Stakes, but it was runner-up Eagle Way who produced the oustanding Queensland Derby trial.
Mackintosh, the $2.10 favourite, held off a late lunge from Eagle Way ($15) to win by a short neck with Howard Be Thy Name ($4) a half head away third at Doomben on Saturday.
Mackintosh will attempt to emulate the deeds of Hawkspur in 2013 and win the Group One Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11 after scoring lead-up wins in the Rough Habit and Grand Prix.
“Let’s hope he can do a Hawkspur and win all three. The way he won today he would have to be a great chance of achieving that,” trainer Chris Waller said.
“Nothing’s broken so we won’t be changing anything going forward to the Derby and the most important thing is he won.
“Even though the placegetters were making ground I thought our horse was as strong in the final 50 metres as he was at the 200 metres.”
Trainer Bryan Guy is keen for a rematch after Eagle Way’s barnstorming finish.
“One more bound and he wins so I couldn’t be happier with his run,” Guy said.
Eagle Way is owned by champion Hong Kong trainer John Moore who has booked Tommy Berry to ride Eagle Way in the Derby.
“The way he finished off the race today I’m pretty sure the boss (Moore) will be happy,” Guy said.
Jockey Paul Hammersley said Eagle Way was the ideal type for the Derby.
“He settled well in the run and there’s no doubt he’s going to be the horse to beat in the Derby,” Hammersley said.
Eagle Way will do his future racing in Hong Kong after the Derby.
South Australian Derby winner Howard Be Thy Name pleased jockey Brad Rawiller with his effort to finish third.
Howard Be Thy Name will give Darren Weir a strong hand at Eagle Farm in a fortnight with the trainter having Black Heart Bart in the Stradbroke Handicap and Real Love in the Brisbane Cup.