Day At The Track

Menangle deja vu for Quinlan

06:50 PM 20 Apr 2015 NZST
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Queen Of Pop
Queen Of Pop winning the APG at Tabcorp Park Menangle in 2014

Twelve months ago harness racing trainer Gary Quinlan celebrated a victory in the Australian Pacing Gold for two year old fillies at Tabcorp Park Menangle when Queen Of Pop scored at the odds of 30 to 1.  Mark Purdon’s filly Supersonic Miss was expected to win the rich final comfortably after annihilating her rivals in the semi final but could only finish fourth.

This year’s lead up to the APG for two year old colts and geldings is eerily similar.  Kiwi trainer Mark Purdon has the raging hot favourite, Our Waikiki Beach that is yet to taste defeat and Quinlan’s entrant Most Happy Cullen is given very little chance of winning by the bookmakers.

“I didn’t think Queen Of Pop was a chance of beating Supersonic Miss last year in the final and I actually thought my filly may have been better placed in the consolation but everything fell into place and we got the win in the big one,” Quinlan said.

“It is the same this year, I can’t see how my horse Most Happy Cullen can turn the tables on Our Waikiki Beach but I’m happy to be in the APG anyway.”

Most Happy Cullen squeezed into the final field after running fifth in Saturday night’s semi final behind Our Waikiki Beach.

“We were 30 metres off the winner in the semi but to be honest I was a little bit concerned going into the race because I thought Our Waikiki Beach might lead and get a very comfortable middle half and that doesn’t suit my horse, he needs to sit on the back of a solid tempo.”

“I was really pleased with Most Happy Cullen, he got a bad check on the first turn but recovered well and chased hard in that final (26.6 second) quarter.”

While Quinlan will be cheering his runner home on Sunday afternoon he confirmed he does have a soft spot for Our Waikiki Beach.

“Debbie and I prepared Our Waikiki Beach for the sales, we both had a lot of time for him, he would free leg on the jogger and it didn’t surprise us that he has turned out to be a nice horse.”

“The horse was bred by the Fusinato family and they have been clients of ours for about 25 years and have put together a really nice band of broodmares.”

The Fusinato family also retain a 50% share in Most Happy Cullen after they bred the son of Christian Cullen.

“He is a full brother to Jazzam and I think with a bit of time he is going to be a really nice horse.”

“It is going to be a big weekend for the stable, we’ve got two fillies in the APG semi finals on Friday night so hopefully it is a good one.”

Sydney reinsman Blake Fitzpatrick will retain the drive after partnering the two year old on Saturday night in the semi final.

Greg Hayes

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