By Doug Ryan
Port Macquarie trainer Marc Quinn successfully executed a long range international plan to win the $32,000 Wauchope RSL Club Wauchope Cup (1512m) with six-year-old gelding Explosive Scene before an excellent crowd at Port Macquarie Racecourse on Sunday.
“Home course, won at the track, heavy conditions and a light weight,” he said is what all contributed to the narrow win. And he and his followers who grabbed the TAB fixed odds of $31 down to the on-course starting price of $6.50 were laughing all the way to the bank.
Over a month ago he devised a plan which involved 17-year-old Irish apprentice jockey Robbie Dolan, his winning jockey, who had his biggest victory since arriving in Australia. Dolan , indentured to Warwick Farm trainer Mark Newnham, was brought up from Sydney to experience a ride on Explosive Scene at Taree on May 15.
A good track and an unsuitable distance resulted in the gelding running 10th to Fratellino. Explosive Scene had another start with Grant Buckley in the saddle but the 1600m of the Wingham Cup was a touch too far and Explosive Scene ran 7th, beaten 4.2 lengths by Mr McBat, on another good track.
But when the rains came and Quinn was able to claim three kilos with Dolan, Quinn was very positive he could win the cup.
“The plan worked out, we were just behind the pace early and I told Robbie to take off when he did. He had no luck last time he rode my horse and Explosive Scene just doesn’t get a mile. He has been an honest horse and has won five races and been placed 10 times in some good company,” he said.
It was Dolan’s third win in Australia and his eightth all time: “I am really thrilled, it was certainly worthwhile taking the four-hour trip up from Warwick Farm,” he said. Quinn also won the Wauchope Cup with Storm Ahead three years ago and the jockey that time was champion Sydney apprentice, Port Macquarie’s Andrew Adkins.
Dubbo visitor, six-year-old gelding Our Sarastro ($8), trained by Connie Greig, was valiant as runner-up in coming from a wide barrier and making the pace to add to a third in the Cowra Cup, seconds in the Parkes and Wingham Cups, all this year.
Resuming Coffs Harbour mare Sofin ($3), winner of the Port Macquarie Prelude and Cup last year, came with a paralysing run from last on the turn to run third just in front of Taree mare Who Is Game ($13), the disappointment being Port’s Star Of Legs which finished last.
It was a good day for the Port stable of Neil Godbolt and Wauchope jockey Belinda Hodder who combined for a winning double in the first two races. Two-year-old gelding Our Instinct ($61 on course bookies), owned by a Kempsey syndicate headed by the trainer, led all the way to score by a neck in the Wauchope Motel 2YO Handicap over 1210m.
Godbolt said to Hodder:” You certainly created a miracle (in reference to its poor previous form).” Hodder said: “The horse kept running on fear.”
Godbolt, Rus Holland, Brian Burgman and a team from Steeline were all happy owners from Port when four-year-old gelding The Weald ($7 to $4.40) finally had a win at its 29th start in the BDM Constructions Maiden Handicap over 1512m. The horse had placed 13 times for prizemoney of $42,385 and the $11,200 first prizemoney has the syndicate in good health money-wise.
The Newcastle stable of Paul Perry had a winning double, one being with nearly two lengths victor four-year-old gelding Gendebein in the trophy race, the M&S Print Wauchope Sprint over 1010m. Stable foreman Shannon Perry was surprised by the win as he thought the track could be unsuitable.
Jockey Paul King, who also rode Perry’s other winner Assergi ($12) in the Port Mini Bus Rentals Class 1 Handicap over 1010m, said Gendebein “floated through the ground” on a track where the going was “universal”.
Taree trainer Peter Cheers made it two wins in a row with four-year-old gelding Swift Reply ($5.50), ridden by Andrew Gibbons, in the Wauchope Real Estate Benchmark 55 Handicap over 1110m. Coffs Harbour trainer Joanne Hardy had a winning double with Written Song ($3.40), ridden by Matt McGuren, in the NBN Television Barney Avery Memorial Maiden Plate over 1110m and Dorloter ($41) , ridden by Matt Bennett, in the Port City Glass Class 2 Handicap over 1512m.
Her father, Trevor Hardy, also from Coffs Harbour, and Port apprentice Cejay Graham combined for a two lengths win with consistent Elite Dubleo ($2.20) in the Wauchope Real Estate Benchmark 55 Handicap over 1110m.