A prolific winner of the Golden Slipper as a jockey, Ron Quinton has had few chances to add to his haul as a trainer.
But he might have found his next opportunity in Sun Patch, who will be out to stop the winning momentum of the powerful Godolphin operation in Saturday’s Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
An $800,000 yearling, Sun Patch was breathtaking on debut when he came from a seemingly impossible position halfway up the straight to surge home inside runners and win.
“Everyone seemed to be very impressed with him, so I suppose I’ve got to be a bit impressed,” Quinton said.
“He’s a nice horse and he’s got nice ability. Naturally, Saturday is a tough assignment, it’s a quality race and any one of a few of them can win.”
Quinton won the Golden Slipper a record-equalling four times as a jockey but his opportunities as a trainer have been limited to two runners, Nimble Feet (1997) and Easy Rocking (1999) who were unplaced.
On Saturday, he will find out if Sun Patch is up to the grade when the half brother to Group One C F Orr Stakes winner Manuel takes on unbeaten youngster Castelvecchio and the James Cummings-trained pair of Microphone and Bivouac, both last-start winners.
“I rarely have two-year-olds that are of the quality of this fellow,” Quinton said.
“He’s not entered for the Slipper but if he happened to win Saturday, I think there’d be a good chance the owners wouldn’t hesitate to pay the late entry.”
Eight colts will contest the Skyline Stakes while a field of 12 will line up in the Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) for the fillies with Godolphin again well represented by Amercement and Kiamichi.
Amercement has opened favourite on the back of her first-up win in the Widden Stakes (1100m) with Cummings reporting the youngster has trained on well and will be suited by a distance rise.
“We expect her to be more comfortable up to six furlongs here and she’s a happy filly going into this assignment,” Cummings said.