Hurtling down a racetrack at four o’clock in the morning on a half-tonne animal is hardly the place you’d expect to find a 50 year old, but every day jockey Rod Quinn does exactly that.
While he admits that sometimes he struggles to find the desire to keep going, its weekends like this one that keep the fire burning.
Quinn will partner exciting gelding Thankgodyou’rehere in the Group One Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm this weekend.
Quinn, who has ridden over 2000 winners in his 36 year career, and sat atop legends of the turf such as Lonhro, believes the talented son of Secret Savings is as good as any horse that has ridden.
“Being able to ride horses like him definitely keeps you going, keeps you getting up in the morning and putting in the work,” Quinn said.
“I feel he has got the ability of a top grade horse. He can gallop as good as the rest of them, he can go toe to toe with any horse around, but he still lacks that little bit of toughness.”
Thankgodyou’rehere has put in three solid runs since resuming, but has not been able to secure a win.
First up he was second in the Galaxy behind Atomic Force, before finishing fourth in the Prime Ministers Cup on the Gold Coast. At his last start he was third in the BRC Sprint behind Woorim and Listen Son.
Despite the fact that he has been unable to secure a win this campaign Quinn believes trainers Pat and Wayne Webster have done an excellent job with the five year old.
“He has got to have that three weeks between runs. He’s not quite as tough as the real top horses yet, so we have to baby him a little bit. But Pat and Wayne do a great job with him.” Quinn said.
Thankgodyou’rehere has had 14 career starts for seven wins and five placing’s. The only two times he has finished out of the top three was in the Prime Ministers Cup, and on debut when ridden Corey Brown. Quinn has been in the saddle on every other occasion and the Webster’s fully understand how lucky they are to have a jockey of Quinn’s calibre and experience in the saddle of their stable star.
“Rodney has been a tremendous mentor of mine and helped me a lot with my training career through this horse,” said Wayne Webster.
“I have taken a lot of advice from many people, especially the old man, but no-one has taught me more than Rodney about how horses pull up, what distance they are looking for, everything. He just knows when horses are right and ready to win.”
Webster said that he was happy with the horses preparation going into the Stradbroke, which had been a long term goal for Thankgodyou’rehere.
“My feeling going into this race is this is the first time this preparation that things have actually gone fallen into place with him.” Webster said.
“His work last Saturday was as good as it has been since we have been in Queensland so it is very pleasing.”
Thankgodyou’rehere is currently rated an $8.50 chance for the Stradbroke Handicap. Woorim and Black Piranha are currently equal favourites at $6.00.