Quinn crowned with first carnival conquest
SOUTH GRAFTON CUP: After almost two decades of supporting the Clarence River Jockey Club's July Carnival, battling Port Macquarie trainer Marc Quinn brought up his first carnival winner, and he did it in the best way possible.
Quinn rode every last pace of star four-year-old Cogliere from the grandstand as the gelding broke free from race favourite Brazen to win the Grafton Toyota South Grafton Cup (1600m).
An emotional Quinn paid tribute to his late training father Pat Quinn, who was also a proud supporter of the July Carnival, after the win.
"To win a carnival race is just really special, this is my first and it is just an awesome experience," he said.
"The horse was cherry ripe today, he has always been a really good horse for us. We didn't pay a lot for him and he has more than paid it back."
A last start second place in the Wauchope Cup set the gelding perfectly for Grafton, and Quinn suggested he would now go on a country cup spree.
Quinn's father Pat trained star gelding Legal Agent who ran second in a photo-finish in the 1995 Ramonie Handicap.
Quinn himself also ran a minor placing in the Ramornie Handicap when Pentasia ran third to Youthful Jack in 2013.
It was a gallant run from Brett Cavanough-trained Brazen who set the pace throughout the Cup, before missing out in the final stretch to finish a length-and-a-half second.
John Smerdon's American Diva was another half-length back in third place.
The win gave Matt McGuren another July Carnival double after winning the first race on board Dia Vernon for Gosford trainer Tony Newing.
"I was pretty confident coming in, he is a tricky horse, but if he led in the first four after 50 yards then I knew he was always going to be hard to hold out," McGuren said.
"(Brazen) beat me last start but we had a 2kg turnaround in the weights, I knew if I could pick it up and put half a length on it we were going to be the winner."