The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT -

PORT Mac­quarie trainer Marc Quinn is dream­ing big with promis­ing filly Sylvia’s Mem­ory, who he thinks could be a shock Golden Slip­per con­tender.

But first she’ll have to win on de­but at Coffs Har­bour to­day in a 2YO Maiden Plate (800m).

A first start on the NSW north coast isn’t typ­i­cally where Slip­per con­tenders kick off their ca­reers, but Quinn has been forced to go to Plan B and C with Sylvia’s Mem­ory since she first tri­alled in Syd­ney last Septem­ber.

She won that trial on the Kens­ing­ton track and Quinn’s opin­ion of her was so high that he wanted to de­but her in the Group 3 Gim­crack Stakes at Rand­wick, but sound­ness is­sues halted those plans.

“We were go­ing to go to the Gim­crack Stakes af­ter the Rand­wick trial but she just wasn’t 100 per cent in the week lead­ing into the race,” Quinn said.

“She hasn’t come back into work just to run at Coffs Har­bour on Sun­day. There’s big­ger fish to fry over the next eight weeks.

“I wanted to run her in Syd­ney on Satur­day (yes­ter­day) but there was no two-year-old races on.

“In­stead of tri­alling her again I thought I may as well run her at Coffs and she’ll get a race day ex­pe­ri­ence and it’s $11,200 for first.

“If she comes through this run well she’ll go to Rand­wick on Aus­tralia Day. If she can get through that race too she’ll have a week off then get ready for one of the Slip­per tri­als.”

Sylvia’s Mem­ory is by Bian­coni out of Sakhara. Corey Dunn and his fa­ther Keith bought Sakhra for $1000 at an Inglis sale and the first horse they bred out of her (Nashian) won her first start be­fore suc­cumb­ing to a virus and an in­jury but she’s cur­rently on the come­back trail.

“When we won with Nashian last year Corey told me he’s got her younger sis­ter and if I’d like to trainer her too and I said ‘yes of course I would’,” Quinn said. “I had a look at her and straight away she oozed qual­ity and had a lot of strength and power about her.

“She’s very raw with a lot of speed and is po­ten­tially the best horse I’ve had.”

De­spite his high con­fi­dence lev­els, Quinn knows any­thing can hap­pen on race day, but jockey Ce­jay Gra­ham gets to ride her out of bar­rier five in the big field, which is a bonus.

“It is a race not a trial and there’s no such thing as a cer­tainty but I’ve gone over it a cou­ple of times and I can’t find any­thing that fin­ished be­hind her in her last trial beat­ing her,” Quinn said. “I think she’ll get 1000m at this stage and in six or seven weeks’ time we’ll find out if she can run 1200m.”

Quinn knew she was above av­er­age as soon as her gal­loped her.

“She did things bet­ter, faster and smarter than the nor­mal twoyear-olds,” he said. “The day I liked her was when I gave her a squeeze out of the bar­rier at home against a horse that had raced a cou­ple of times and had al­ready won a race and she just jumped two in front and kept run­ning.”

Trainer Marc Quinn and Cogliere. Pic­ture: Nathan Ed­wards

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