COFFS HARBOUR RACE PREVIEW
MATT JONES’S BEST BETS
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