Quin­ton hop­ing for an early Cel­e­bra­tion at Royal Rand­wick

The Sportsman Weekend - - NEWS - SHAYNE O’CASS

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.

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