From Port Macquarie to the racing capital of NSW.
The Country Championships final at Randwick presents an ideal opportunity to gauge how far Cogliere and Andrew Adkins have travelled since those formative days at Marc Quinn’s stable.
Inseparable until Adkins, Sydney’s leading apprentice, headed south to continue his development with former champion jockey and now trainer Ron Quinton, horse and rider are again reunited for Saturday’s $400,000 opportunity for the out-of-towners to shine.
Adkins steered Cogliere to a qualfying win at Taree on February 26 and was also in the saddle for the three-year-old’s previous outing, a potentially ominous last on a heavy track at Rosehill last Saturday week.
Weather was inevitably been a factor as Quinn readies Cogliere for another wet track.
“I haven’t had access to our course proper at Port Macquarie since mid January so I’ve had to think out of the box a few times,” Quinn said.
“I’ve worked around races and jump-outs. He’s had a few race day gallops at various tracks.”
Quinn appreciated the chance to gallop Cogliere at Randwick on Tuesday, his final work-out before he tries to upstage race favourite Perfect Dare on a track that won’t suit.
Randwick was classified a heavy 8 on Friday afternoon but with no more rain forecast it is expected to improve.
“It can’t be as bad as Rosehill on Slipper Day and the three races before us are all small fields so there won’t be a lot of damage,” Quinn said.
Despite a challenging build-up, Quinn declared Cogliere was in prime condition.
“I can’t get him any better than what he is,” he said, adding the same scenario applied to Adkins before he left his home town in late 2015.
“Andrew started his apprenticeship with me and we had a couple of successful years before he outgrew Port Macquarie and the country.
“He was pretty much polished when he got to Ronnie though naturally he was going to improve riding against better riders, on better tracks and on a better class of horse.”
Adkins now finds himself back on the pick of Quinn’s stable for the eighth time, giving the trainer comfort with Cogliere ($11) tackling the 1400m from barrier 13.
“I don’t like to give Andrew too many plans,” Quinn said.
“He knows the horse back to front and he’ll ride him where the horse is comfortable.
“He was there when I broke him in and he did a lot of his early work on him. He loves the horse as much as I do.”