Quinton hoping for an early Celebration at Royal Randwick
IT is apt that on the 37th anniversary of his Cox Plate win aboard Kingston Town, trainer Ron Quinton is in line to win the first race at Randwick with up and comer Royal Celebration.
Unlike Winx who was ridden by Hugh Bowman to victory in her three Cox Plate wins, Kingston Town’s Moonee Valley triumphs came under three different jockeys, Malcolm Johnston, Quinton and Peter Cook.
Quinton, despite his indelible link to ‘The King’, is hoping Winx can win a record fourth Cox Plate tomorrow and give his one-time apprentice Hugh Bowman own place in history.
“I guess records are made to be broken aren’t they,” Quinton said. “Winx has been a wonderful mare, she has been so beautifully placed by Chris (Waller) and been ridden well all those times.”
Ironically, the only horse – if there is one – that was expected to make Winx work for that fourth Cox Plate was her stablemate and star threeyear-old The Autumn Sun.
Royal Celebration finished just a length behind the three-time Group 1 winner when they met at Royal Randwick back in May.
“Royal Celebration ran second to The Autumn Sun a 1400m race and the other day he again to Yulong January so he’s bumped into a couple of smart ones along the way,” Quinton said.
On top those already mentioned, other notables that have crossed the line narrowly ahead of, or behind, Royal Celebration include Wagner, Invictus Salute, Gem Song, Cristobal and Nicco’s Lad who will be there again tomorrow in the ATC 2019 Membership Handicap (1400m) at Headquarters.
Royal Celebration is a son of Coolmore resident sire, Excelebration (by Exceed And Excel) and races in the colours of the Gall family who have been Quinton stable clients from literally day one.
Quinton’s first yearling to walk through his freshly painted High Street stables when he took up training was the Gall’s bonny mare Mamzelle Pedrille who won 11 races including stakes-races in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
She also finished fourth the 1996 Hong Kong Bowl behind Monopolize who was trained nearby by Grahame Begg.
Trainer Ron Quinton is hoping Royal Celebration can go one better at Randwick tomorrow.