Trainer Phillip Stokes has seen the right signs in the lead-up to the Caulfield Cup to believe one-time favourite Mr Quickie can bounce back to his best in the $5 million handicap after a last-start failure.
This year’s Queensland Derby winner, Mr Quickie raced into 2019 Caulfield Cup favouritism after he charged home for third in his season return in the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last month.
He then beat just one runner home at his next start over 2000m in the Turnbull Stakes.
“He was probably too good first-up,” Stokes said.
“He raced a bit below his best last start but there were a few circumstances. He didn’t parade great that day, he was very much up on his toes and sweating up which is not like him.
“He just didn’t bring his game.
“I thought this week he worked as good as he did when he went up for the Derby in Queensland.
“And probably more importantly the way he’s bounced off that work and what he has done has been really good.
“He’s shown me all the right signs so I’m hopeful for a good run.”
Mr Quickie, to be ridden by John Allen, was at $8.50 on Friday with Finche and Constantinople sharing favouritism at $7.50.
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Stokes is unsure how to line up the international runners in the field and where Mr Quickie fits in.
“I don’t know if there are any stand-outs but it’s a very even race,” he said.