By Glenn Davis
Trainer Stu Kendrick is hopeful Don’t Waiver can prove he’s worthy of a Queensland Derby campaign next year by winning the Grand Prix Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Kendrick has never had a Queensland Derby runner but believes Don’t Waiver has a bright future as a stayer and is confident the three-year-old can end a run of four consecutive placings in the Group 3 feature over 2206 metres.
Don’t Waiver ran on strongly last start over 2000 metres when second to the Chris Munce-trained Smart Meteor in a heat of the Eagle Way Series at Doomben on December 7.
The $250,000 Grand Prix Stakes doubles as the final of the Eagle Way Series and was formerly run in the winter before being switched to the summer.
The decision to move the Grand Prix was designed to give trainers a better chance to build on qualifying money for next winter’s Queensland Derby and Queensland Oaks and to test their early season three-year-olds as stayers.
Kendrick was pleased with Don’t Waiver’s last start effort after lumping an extra 6.5kgs on his previous placing behind the Rob Heathcote-trained Guntantes over 1600 metres at Eagle Farm on November 23.
“He placed in two of the Eagle Way heats and hopefully he can win the final this time,” Kendrick said.
“He had to carry a lot more weight last start than his previous run but he meets a lot of these on better terms under the set weights.
“He’s not really a Doomben horse as he doesn’t get time to balance up around the turn so Eagle Farm will suit him a lot better.
“On the bigger track he’ll be able to find his feet in the straight and the extra distance should suit him.”
Kendrick is confident Don’t Waiver can go on to the Group One Queensland Derby next year.
“I’ve never had a Queensland Derby runner but he’s bred to stay on his dam’s side and he’s by Not A Single Doubt so he should run a trip,” he said.
“Ever since he was a baby, he’s wanted further as he needs to wind up in his races.
“I’ve got him and Eric The Eel, who is just back in the stable after spelling, headed to the Queensland Derby in the winter.”
Kendrick rates Smart Meteor as the main danger again but also is wary of the Gerald Ryan-trained Chains Of Honour who won first-up over 1900 metres at Hawkesbury last start.
Racing Queensland webnews December 18