By Ray Hickson
Trainer Marc Quinn has just the one bullet to fire for this year’s Newhaven Park Country Championships so he’s looking for All Over Magic to show he’s on track at Port Macquarie next Sunday.
The four-year-old was sent to Quinn specifically as a Country Championships contender by brother-in-law Tracey Bartley and sister Tracy Quinn, and co-owners Roger and Nerida Atkinson, after eight starts for Bartley.
It’s a team that combined for Group 1 success with Sniper’s Bullet and All Over Magic is from a now retired mare, Elishir, that has provided them all with plenty of joy over the years.
“They’ve been long time clients of my brother-in-law and sister, they ended up with the mare after she finished racing and have bred quite a few handy ones,’’ Quinn said.
“The mare really clicked with Magic Albert and he’s the last one by Magic Albert hence the name.
“He won his second start at Hawkesbury like he was going to be a handy horse then he went off the boil.
“Then they thought he’d be a nice Highway and Country Championships horse. They got him up here in time for the cut off period and he’s had a prep, as soon as he got out to 1500m he relished it.”
Quinn will send All Over Magic around in the Mid North Coast Championships Preview (1200m) having enjoyed a freshen up since he last raced in a TAB Highway back in early December.
He showed some quality running third in a Highway at The Gong meeting at Kembla Grange and Quinn is happy with how he’s coming along ahead of his target.
“He trialled really nicely. We were going to trial him again but thought he might get more benefit out of a solid 1200m race,’’ he said.
“It’s going to be a bit short of his best but if he can get back on a strong tempo he hits the line really well.”
Luke Rolls will ride All Over Magic at Port Macquarie and in the $150,000 Newhaven Park MNCRA Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) at Taree on February 21.
Quinn is confident that the gelding won’t need to win first-up to ensure his place in the Qualifier but said he’s ready to run well and is considering an important gear change.
“We’re toying with the idea of applying blinkers, whether we do it first-up or hold them for the heat I’m not entirely sure,’’ he said.
“History says at Taree they go pretty hard, being a big money race for local horses, and if they do that it’ll give him his best chance of qualifying.”
Meanwhile, Newhaven Park, sponsors of the Country Championships Final since 2017, has extended its sponsorship to the entire Country Championships Series in 2021.
All Over Magic runs third in a Port Macquarie trial on January 22
“We are delighted to have substantially increased our commitments to the New South Wales racing industry to now include each of the regional qualifiers, truly making it the Newhaven Park Country Championships,” Newhaven Park's John Kelly said.
“The Country Championships fairytale continues to capture the hearts and minds of all racing people. It gives grass roots racing participants an opportunity to compete on the biggest stage each year.
“Since our involvement with The Country Championships it has been humbling to witness the raw passion that is very much alive in every aspect of Country Racing and the tremendous impact this fantastic initiative has had has within these regional communities. We just love being a part of it.”
The Kelly family will be continuing the tradition of the popular Country Championships Cocktail Party for all competitors and connections at their well-known watering-hole, The Doncaster Hotel at Randwick on the eve of the Final.