Port Macquarie trainer Marc Quinn is looking to build on a big week for his stable when Explosive Scene chases back-to-back wins at Kempsey on Friday.
Quinn, who currently has seven horses in work, was naturally over the moon at Taree last Sunday when his promising three-year-old colt Cogliere won the Mid North Coast heat of the rich Country Championships to secure his berth in the $400,000 final at Randwick on April 1.
Explosive Scene, who also competed in the Country Championships in 2015 - finishing 8th to Artlee in the Final - lines up in Friday's Akubra Hats Benchmark 65 Hcp (1450m).
Quinn also nominated him for Saturday's Armidale meeting, but said he will definitely run at Kempsey where he will be ridden by 2kg-claiming apprentice Chloe Baker. A last-start winner at Port Macquarie on February 11 at his third run this campaign, Explosive Scene loves rain-affected tracks and looks likely to get conditions to suit at Kempsey.
Kempsey Race Club's secretary-treasurer, John Graham, said the track was rated a heavy 8 on Wednesday morning but believes an upgrade by Friday is on the cards if the weather clears.
"We've had 40mls of rain on the track since Sunday and although it's a heavy 8 at the moment, it is probably a slow 6 in most areas of the track," he said. "This track does dry pretty quickly, so an upgrade by Friday is likely if there's no more rain."
Quinn will be more than happy with a track in either the soft or heavy range for Explosive Scene, who has relished those conditions in the past.
"He loves wet tracks and whether it's heavy or upgraded to the soft range he'll certainly get conditions to suit," he said. "He's had two goes on heavy ground - one in the Country Championships final in 2015 and the other when second (to Snappy One) in a Randwick Highway last prep."
Although each of Explosive Scene's four career wins have been well-spaced, Quinn is confident he can post back-to-back wins for the first time on Friday.
"He hasn't strung two wins together in the past, but he's a more mature galloper now and has come back really well this prep," he said. "Overall, he's been a pretty consistent horse in his career and has won just over $100,000 so far - that's not bad for a bush horse."
Meanwhile, Quinn's stable star Cogliere has pulled up in great shape after his big win at Taree last Sunday and is likely to have one more run before the Country Championships Final on April 1.
"At this stage he'll either run at Taree in a fortnight or at Rosehill on Golden Slipper day before the Championships Final," said Quinn.
Newcastle trainer Kris Lees looks to have a typically strong hand at Kempsey's eight-race program with four leading contenders - Ombromani (race two), Gingersnap (race four), Touch Of Flo (race five) and Red Quirina (race eight).