Trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan experienced a rollercoaster ride at the track last weekend, with a brilliant winning double on Friday night at Melton followed by a fall at Ballarat 24 hours later.
“I’m a bit sore,” Quinlan said of the fall from Sir Hutchy in the Kirsten New Pace, when her horse ran into the back of a fiercely galloping Bettor Downunder.
Despite the bumps and bruises, Quinlan was back in the sulky during the week and has a strong book of drives this Friday night.
Punters are likely to judge Quinlan's best winning chance to be Sunset Invasion in the Seelite Windows and Doors Winter Trotters Cup Final (Group 2) over 2240m.
The five-year-old gelding by Last Sunset was the most impressive heat winner last Friday night, recording a mile rate of two minutes even and a 58.7secs last half to lead all the way and defeat Unico Pegasus by 4.9m.
Despite leading throughout a week ago, Quinlan said Sunset Invasion was “better driven with a sit”.
She said the Holmfield and Derby winner as a three-year-old was now ready to take the next step.
“He’s a really nice horse and he’s going really well. I don’t think the draw is going to be too much of a problem on Friday night. I wouldn’t swap my bloke for anything.”
Earlier on the card Quinlan will kick off her night aboard Glenferrie Dreamer, which found the line strongly first-up at Maryborough.
“He’s up a long way in class but we were happy with the first-up run. Craig’s got him in this because he needs to keep him ticking over, but he’s drawn well and hopefully will run well.”
Quinlan then pilots last-start winner Glenferrie College in the Alabar Pace over 1720m.
The four-year-old son of Mcardle stunned most punters last time out at Maryborough when he won at $22, but Quinlan said he should never been that price.
“You had to put the pen through the two runs beforehand,” Quinlan said.
“His run three starts before at Melton had been terrific. He’s definitely going a lot better than his form might suggest. He ran good time the other day.”
Glenferrie College went 1:55.5 with a last half in 57.1secs, finishing strongly from back in the field after sitting solo three-wide.
The Quinlan/Demmler team will have two runners in the Woodlands Stud Pace, Essbee Doubleyou drawn gate two and Lombo Flashlight in five.
“I was really happy with Lombo Flashlight’s first-up run. Fitness wise he’ll be improved and he certainly can win.
“The other one (Essbee Doubleyou) is drawn to lead and it was a super run last time, so he should go well, too.”
And the stable has Our Eastwood Cullen in the last race, the Junction Hotel Claiming Pace, drawn inside the back row.
By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)