The multimillion-dollar gamble riding on Mr Quickie

“We resisted all the offers from Hong Kong, which came thick and fast, before he won the Queensland Derby,” Dalziel said.

“They were very keen on him after the South Australian Derby. He was a good thing beaten in that, he was way too far back. After he won in Queensland Derby they just wanted him really badly.

“Between $2 million and $3 million was thrown around. To those owners that sort of money is not a big deal. They are quite wealthy people, and by the time they take their 5 or 10 per cent from a Hong Kong sale it wouldn’t have impacted much on their lives.

“They would rather have fun with him, run in the group 1s and try and win another one.”

They succeeded last spring, when Mr Quickie’s trainer Phillip Stokes, Moody, Dalziel and their partners tore up their original plans to run in the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate and instead concentrated on running him over 1600 metres.

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Dalziel engaged Jamie Kah to ride him in the group 1 Toorak Handicap at Caulfield over the distance and he duly obliged, carrying top weight and conceding up to six kilos to his rivals.

“When I went through all his stats we decided he was a miler, which is why we went for the Toorak,” he said.

“When we put him away I chatted to Phillip Stokes and ‘Mitho’ (Anthony Mithen, Rosemont Stud’s principal) and thought, Let’s have another crack at the All-Star Mile and we will go second-up not first-up.

“Phillip will train him more as a miler because he has a good turn of foot and keep him relatively fresh. We would be pretty confident he would be better second-up into an All-Star Mile.”

Last year he finished ninth when he tackled the event without a prep run. This time around he will go out in the group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) on February 20 ahead of the All-Star Mile.

Dalziel is in no doubt about who he wants aboard Mr Quickie – Kah, who is leading the Victorian metropolitan jockeys’ premiership.

“We will definitely be trying to secure Jamie Kah. She got him in that forward position for us when he won the Toorak,” he said.

“It showed he didn’t have to be back in the field and trying to run them down, which he had to do on a lot of earlier occasions. That was often due to bad barriers, it wasn’t the jockey’s fault.”

Michael Lynch is The Age’s chief soccer reporter and also reports on motor sport and horseracing

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