Group One winner Mr Quickie will soon return to Phillip Stokes’ stables to ramp up preparations for a first-up tilt at the All-Star Mile.
Stokes and the gelding’s connections are targeting the $5 million race at Caulfield in March and want to run Mr Quickie fresh.
Ten of the horses in the field for the All-Star Mile, which is in its second year, will be decided by public vote while the Futurity Stakes and Blamey Stakes are ‘win and you’re in’ races.
There are also between three and five wild cards to be issued by a selection panel to make up the 15-horse field.
Mr Quickie flew home for third in the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes over 1600m at Flemington in the first start of his spring campaign.
That performance has given connections confidence to go down a similar path to the All-Star Mile if he gains a place in the field.
“That’s the thinking behind it,” Stokes said.
“He has been back in pre-training for nearly four weeks and he’ll be back in the stable on Monday week.
“I saw him a few days ago and he looks fantastic. He’s got good condition on him and he had a really good spell. He had a full six weeks out.
“At this stage we are going to target the All-Star Mile first-up.
“It will be the same as what we did last preparation. We’ll give him two trials leading into his first-up run.
“Then we’ll work it out after that where we go.”
Mr Quickie won the Group One Queensland Derby (2400m) in June last year but was winless in four spring starts.
After the Makybe Diva Stakes, Mr Quickie failed in the Turnbull Stakes before a luckless 11th in the Caulfield Cup.
He rounded out his campaign with a second over 2500m in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup.
“His first-up run in the spring was super,” Stokes said.
“He couldn’t repeat it second-up but he’s obviously up to them.
“I thought I had him cherry ripe for the Caulfield Cup and he just had no luck. I think he’s a genuine Group One horse.”