ERIC The Eel is Sydney-bound for the AJC Derby.
The rising stayer overcame a dawdling tempo to come from a long way back at Doomben on Saturday, March 28.
He'll now navigate Coronavirus travelling protocols to make his way to Sydney without his trainer Stuart Kendrick and staff for a tilt at the Derby.
With Kendrick and staff unable to travel with the horse, he'll link up with Bjorn Baker's Sydney stable.
Kendrick is hoping he will still start in his name in the Derby but the horse will likely be transferred to Baker if he stays on in Sydney.
With the Brisbane winter carnival a Coronavirus casualty, the decision to head to Sydney for the Derby was made after Kenrick consulted all owners after the Brisbane win.
"We won't be able to be trackside but it will still be an enormous thrill for all connections to have a Derby runner,'' he said.
And Eric The Eel showed he won't be just making up the numbers, reeling off some fast sectionals over the concluding stages to win an Open (2200m) at Doomben.
Ridden by Stephanie Thornton, Eric The Eel ($3.90) got well back and wasn't suited by the leisurely pace being set in front but still managed to finish over the top of the leaders.
Kendrick said the three-year-old gelding had a bit of a blow after the race and would take plenty of improvement from the run.
"We've been eager to get him up over this sort of a trip and he's done it fairly quickly this prep,'' he said.
"He'll be much fitter for the run and the 2400m of the Derby won't be a problem."
Images courtesy of Trackside Photography