Champion trainer Chris Waller has a firm grip on the Queensland Derby trophy after Mackintosh scored an all-the-way win in the Group Two Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Mackintosh, the $2.10 favourite, was ridden confidently by Blake Shinn and continued Waller’s dominance in the Rough Habit Plate when he scored a comfortable 2-3/4 length win.
Waller has won the Plate three times in the past four years.
Mackintosh added to the wins of Sadler’s Lake last year and Hawkspur who was successful in 2013 before progressing to win the Derby.
“We’ve learned over the past few years what works and what doesn’t when it comes to bringing horses to this carnival,” Waller said.
“With this horse we’ve been taking small steps and hopefully now, with a bit of confidence, he can go on to the Grand Prix and Queensland Derby.
“Winning gives them confidence whether it’s a horse, sportsman or businessman.”
Mackintosh booked his ticket north when he won at Hawkesbury on April 30 when having his first start for Waller.
“He’s an emerging New Zealand-bred gelding with the right bloodlines,” Waller said.
“We’d like to see him win like he did today at his next start in the Grand Prix and if he can then he’ll be a legitimate chance in the Derby.”
Shinn is keen to stick with Mackintosh in the Group Three Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben on May 28 and the Group One Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
“He gave me a good ride today and in the end it was pretty painless,” Shinn said.
“Once he found the front he was able to sustain a high-cruising speed and made the race his own.”