Apprentice Belinda Hodder has been given a great opportunity to cement her relationship with new master, Port Macquarie trainer Marc Quinn, aboard Lionhearted Girl at Muswellbrook on Monday.
With Hodder in mind, Quinn selected the Sportofkings. Com. Au Benchmark 65 Hcp (1280m) for Lionhearted Girl some time ago.
And to date, everything has fallen into place, particularly with wet tracks.
Lionhearted Girl has a penchant for slow and heavy tracks with hree of her four wins from 17 starts on rain affected ground.
“I picked this race for the mare some time back, especially when I realised it was for apprentices only and would suit Belinda,” Quinn said.
“Lionhearted Girl is one of those horses that just loves soft tracks.
“And she’s a mare that runs well for kids, particularly girls.”
Hodder transferred from Ross Stitt at Taree to Quinn three months ago to be closer to her boyfriend.
“She’s a good hard worker who listens and rides well,” Quinn said. “Given the right opportunities she won’t let anyone down.”
Lionhearted Girl has a strong link to Quinn’s trainer father Pat Quinn, who died of a heart attack following a freak accident at Canterbury in August, 2009.
“Dad bought the mare (Lion’s Rose) at the Magic Million sales,” Quinn said.
“She won a couple of races and some of the owners bought her back later to breed from.
“Lionhearted Girl is her first foal. She missed the following year then was pensioned off after foaling Lionhearted Boy, now a three-year-old, because she always had traumas foaling.”
Lionhearted Girl is part-owned by Roger and Rod Forsyth who run a pest control business on Sydney’s northern beaches.
The five-year-old resumed from a 113-day spell with an encouraging two lengths fourth to Island Dane over 1200m at Port Macquarie on November 4.
“She’s been in good form and pulled up in good order after Port,” Quinn said.
“Her work since then has been terrific.
“She’s not an overly big mare but what she lacks in size she makes up for in toughness and durability. She tries 110 per cent.
“And her ability to handle soft tracks gives her a big advantage given the right race and conditions.”