A return to set weights and a step up to a middle distance on the big Eagle Farm track are expected to help three-year-old Don’t Waiver end a frustrating run of minor placings.
Don’t Waiver goes into the Group Three Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) on the back of a second in an Eagle Way Series heat over 2000m at Doomben two weeks ago.
The Grand Prix was once one of the glamour races of the winter carnival but in recent years it has played second fiddle to the Rough Habit Plate as a lead-up to the Queensland Derby.
Officials decided to move it to the summer and it will double as the final of the Eagle Way series for three-year-old stayers.
The Eagle Way heat was Don’t Waiver’s fourth minor placing in a row against some of the smartest three-year-olds in Brisbane.
Trainer Stuart Kendrick has been keen to get Don’t Waiver out in distance and contemplated taking him to Sydney for the Group One Spring Champion Stakes in September.
He decided to keep Don’t Waiver in Queensland for the Eagle Way series with an eye to next year’s winter carnival.
Kendrick said Don’t Waiver had always shown that a step up to a middle distance would be a benefit.
“His two runs past 1600 metres have been good. He should have beaten Profit over 1800 metres and his second last time over 2000 was strong, especially as he had 59kg,” Kendrick said.
He said Don’t Waiver would appreciate the conditions of the race.
“It is set weights on Saturday and that means he meets a lot of horses better at the weights,” Kendrick said.
Don’t Waiver was knocked down to Kendrick for $80,000 at the Inglis Easter Sale and has so far earned $108,000.
The gelding is by former top sprinter Not A Single Doubt who has produced many middle distance stakes winners most recently Group One Doomben Cup winner Kenedna.
Don’t Waiver gets further stamina from his dam Umatilly who is by Umatilla and won four races up to 2100m.
Kendrick hopes Don’t Waiver will develop into a Queensland Derby and possibly an Australian Derby horse next year.
“A win on Saturday will go a long way toward getting him into those races,” Kendrick said.
Jockey Robbie Fradd retains the ride on Don’t Waiver and also believes the gelding will be suited by 2200m and Eagle Farm.