Reflections on Coolmore Classic Day

Sky Racing’s Greg Radley called Ron Quinton the ‘King of the Coolmore’ after the Randwick trainer has collected his fourth Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) trophy when Christian Reith and Dixie Blossoms strode away from the field and how right Radley’s tag is and how popular the win was.

Quinton said it was his proudest day on a racecourse and what a statement from the former champions jockey who won eight Sydney jockey premierships and the Coolmore twice on Miss Personality in 1973 and the great mare Emancipation in 1984. Six Coolmore Classic’s from fifty plus years in racing and everyone was thrilled.

Christian Reith and Ron Quinton, picture

Randwick colleague Peter Snowden hugged Quinton as he came past in the outer parade ring, congratulations came from every quarter, including as well for Christian Reith. Well-deserved for both.

Reith had ridden the former ATC committeeman Alan Osburg home-bred six-year-old Street Sense mare with aplomb and they only went round one runner for the trip. The track was Heavy after a Sydney monsoon commenced late last week, but fortunately sparing most of the day’s racing returning for Sunday and into next week, and the earlier fields had used the middle of the track. Reith stayed one off the rail saving ground, but by the time of the Coolmore Classic, the seventh race, the inside was racing well and Dixie Blossoms relished it.

Reith gave a fine salute at the line and the RNSW stewards’ nicely ignored the point before the line when the salute commenced with Reith high in the irons. The 2 1/2L winning margin gave no excuse to the rest of the big field and it was very fitting victory.

Incidentally Quinton’s other Classic winners are Ofcourseican in 2012, Peeping in 2016 and Daysee Doom last year.

Earlier in the programme the royal blue silks of Godolphin spread even further over the field for the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill next week after Kaimichi under Damien Lane won the Group 3 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) with Athiri and James McDonald third and Amercement and Tommy Berry fourth.

It will be intriguing to see their final line up with eight possible. There will be a rainbow of coloured caps.

For good measure on Saturday the stable also dead-heated the Group 3 TBV Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Flemington with Medaglia d’Oro filly Flit. Never let a two-year-old opportunity go by is this season’s modus operandum for the stable.

Up, up and away as Reith starts the salute, picture

There were 6,203 at Rosehill on Saturday and now we move forward to the Slipper meeting next week.

Finally there were two poignant moments during the day that will sit in the memory bank of Coolmore Classic Day 2019.

When Quinton won last year there was a similar feeling of joy for his success. This column recorded the following:

‘The feeling was best summed up by leading rider Tye Angland walking past back to the weighing room after his ninth on last year’s winner Heaven Above.

“Good on you Ron,” Angland called out, on behalf of everyone really.’

Angland cannot walk now after his Sha Tin fall last November devastatingly left him a quadriplegic.

A nomination to four-time Group 1 winner Trapeze Artist, who will stand at Widden Stud this year, for the 2019 Australian breeding season will open the Inglis Chairman’s Sale on May 3rd, with all proceeds going to Angland.

Angland rode Trapeze Artist to Group 1 success in the Golden Rose, TJ Smith Stakes and All Aged Stakes.

The other was travelling twice over Sydney’s Anzac Bridge to and from Rosehill.

An Australian Flag flies at the top of the eastern pylon and a New Zealand Flag flies on the top of the western pylon. There are two magnificent bronze memorial statues, one of an Australian Anzac soldier, a ‘Digger’, holding a Lee–Enfield rifle in the "rest on arms reverse" drill position at the western end of the bridge. The second statue of a New Zealand soldier is on the opposite side of the bridge from the Australian Digger, facing towards the east.

The flags were at half-mast in memory of the unspeakable and murderous tragedy in Christchurch on Friday. The statues a reminder of the very long and close relationship of Australia and New Zealand that will endure long after a terrible coward has gone. This was keenly felt at Rosehill as well.