By Julieanne Horsman
Every morning before the sun comes up Sally Taylor’s mum Judith helps out around her daughter’s Coffs Harbour stables, mucking out boxes, dishing out feed and hosing down the horses.
“I’m so grateful for my mum,” Sally said. “She wonderful!”
The young trainer has a chance to repay her mum and another one of her biggest supporters, David Sherwood, on Friday when Lolly Shoppe lines up in the $60,000 Patriots Bloodstock & Racing Queen Of The North at Port Macquarie. All three own Lolly Shoppe in partnership and according to Sally, who rides her own work, the horse is feeling better than ever.
“She pulled up well after her last start and has really come on since then,” she said. “I’d prefer it to rain but you can’t have everything go your way.”
Lolly Shoppe did her best work late in the 1215m Pink Silks Cup at Coffs Harbour on 14th January. She was last with 200m to go then powered home for 3rd, just two lengths behind Group winner Mishani Honcho.
“I asked Kirk (Matheson) to ride her cold out the back and get her going late,” Sally said. “He listened and I was happy with the race so I’ve kept him on for Friday. I like to try and stay loyal to jockeys who do the right thing.”
While Lolly Shoppe’s pet distance is 1400m, Sally is confident she can run a nice 1200m in the Queen Of The North. She will have to carry an extra 4.5kg from last start but notched her most recent win in June with 59.5kg on her back. Bonne Cheval has been given the top weight and Lolly Shoppe beat her comfortably last start.
“Hopefully they go like the clappers and she can have the last crack at them,” Sally said. “It would be a big thrill to win a major race like this with an older mare (Lolly Shoppe is seven) and for mum and David. You couldn’t ask for better owners.”
Sally bought Lolly Shoppe from Kembla Grange trainer Donna Grisedale early last year and since then the mare has thrived, recording two wins and a place from eight starts.
“I think she is enjoying coastal country life,” Sally said. “I take her to the beach, she loves the water, and I try to keep her happy.”
Lolly Shoppe’s preparation has been shaped around the Queen Of The North and if she goes well tomorrow she could be bound for Sydney or Brisbane.
“I went to Canterbury last Friday and liked the track,” Sally said. “Or I might just follow the rain is there is any!”