Promising three-year-old Fat Al will be given the chance to emulate the past two Frank Packer Plate winners in the Group One Queensland Derby.
Fat Al continued his rise to prominence with an all-the-way win in Saturday’s Group Three Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick to book a trip to Queensland for the Derby in June.
Dariana (2010) and Shootoff (2011) both won the Frank Packer Plate on their way to winning the Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm.
Fat Al, sent out the $2 favourite, controlled the contest from the front to notch trainer Gai Waterhouse’s 15th winner during the six-meeting Sydney autumn carnival.
Nash Rawiller was able to dictate terms on Fat Al and the muddling pace allowed him and Ambidexter, who sat outside the lead, to sprint clear in the straight.
Fat Al defeated Ambidexter ($4.80) by a length with Rekindled Alliance ($8.50) closing from back in the field to be three-quarters of a length away in third.
“The Queensland Derby is what we are setting him for,” Waterhouse said.
“That was Nash at his best. He has a great ability to read a race and get into a roll. When they come to him he just goes click, click, and gives him a bit more rein.
Rawiller has ridden Fat Al in three of his five wins and believes the gelding by Al Maher has a big future and could play a role during the spring carnival.
“He’s a pretty exciting horse I think,” Rawiller said.
“He just does what he has to do and just gets the job done. He gave a nice kick at the top of the rise and he’s a very tough customer.
“Gai was saying if he comes through today well then he could head to Brisbane. But to be quite honest I think he’s a bit better than Brisbane. He might be a good horse for the spring.”
Rawiller is confident Fat Al would have no trouble with the Derby distance.
“He’s a very strong horse and he feels like he has got improvement to come,” the jockey said.
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