By Ray Hickson
There’s a very special reason, dating back 25 years, trainer Ron Quinton has a soft spot for lightly raced mare Duchess Pedrille.
The four-year-old is the final foal of Mamzelle Pedrille who was the first horse under Quinton’s care when he took out his trainer’s license back in 1993.
She made a winning debut in 1994, with Mark Newnham in the saddle, won 11 races up to Group 2 level and raced in Hong Kong twice.
Over the years Quinton has trained a number of horses with the ‘Pedrille’ suffix and there’s no doubt the multiple stakeswinner Mamzelle Pedrille was the best of them.
She’s also been prolific at stud producing 13 foals with the best peformed being Group 2 winning stallion O’Lonhro.
“She was my first yearling when I started training in 1993, she didn’t race until she was three but she was a bloody good mare,’’ Quinton said.
“She won everywhere - Eagle Farm, Doomben, Gold Coast, Sandown, Caulfield and every track in Sydney except Warwick Farm but she never raced there.
“This mare was her last foal and she seems to be in pretty good form at the moment.’’
Duchess Pedrille has won two of her 10 starts and chases successive wins in the #Theraces Handicap (1200m) at Canterbury on Wednesday.
The mare bumped into the promising Sugar Bella first-up then showed a nice turn of foot to win narrowly over 1100m at Canterbury on December 15 where Punters Intel data revealed her last 600m of 34.87 was the quickest of the race.
“I thought she won well, she’s taken a fair while to mature,’’ Quinton said.
“I couldn’t be happier with her in the stable, she’s done a treat.’’
With Andrew Adkins having to sit out the week through illness, Brock Ryan takes over on Duchess Pedrille on Wednesday and she’ll carry 57.5kg after his 3kg claim.
The apprentice’s last ride for Quinton was a winner, on Allegheny at Gosford a couple of weeks back.
Duchess Pedrille arrives in time to win at Canterbury - December 15
Geldings Dream I Can and Magical Stance also represent Quinton at Canterbury but he’s less bullish about their chances – though he’s adamant both have the ability to feature in their respective races if they put in.
“Dream I Can took a long time to win his maiden. He’s been a frustration,’’ he said.
“Magical is getting on a bit in age, it’ll be interesting to see how he goes at the 1900m but he has won over the trip at Canterbury.
“He’s always drawn badly and hopefully he can put his best foot forward.’’
Meanwhile, the Doncaster Mile is likely to be the autumn target for classy mare Dixie Blossoms who, along with equally talented stablemate Daysee Doom, has been back in work for a month.
Both mares haven’t raced since the Myer Classic at Flemington in November where Dixie ran third, her second placing in as many years in the Group 1, and Daysee 12th.
“They’ve come back looking really well,’’ he said.
“They were able to have five weeks off after Melbourne and I’m very happy with them.
“Naturally I’ll be targeting the mares races but Dixie will definitely be nominated for the Doncaster. She’s seems to like that mile at Randwick and would come into a race like that with not much weight.”