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This Sunday Rod Quinn will be looking to become the most successful jockey in the Keith F Nolan Classic’s history when he shoots for victory aboard the Guy Walter-trained Appearance.
Set to run as Kembla Grange Race 6 at 4:16pm, the $150,000 Group 3 Illawarra Mercury Keith F Nolan Classic (1600m) field is down to just nine gallopers this year following the early scratching of #3 Colorado Claire.
Quinn already boasts a win in the Keith F Nolan Classic aboard the Gwenda Markwell-trained La Nikita back in 2004, and no jockey has ever won multiple editions of the Illawarra Turf Club’s premier event.
On Sunday Quinn will look to change that when he jumps behind the reins of up-and-coming Commands filly Appearance.
“I’m always happy to be riding one of Guy’s – especially in fillies and mares races,” Quinn said.
“He really does a good job with them.
“He’s won this race a few times, hopefully he can do it again this year.”
If successful Appearance will be handing Walter with his fourth Keith F Nolan Classic victory following previous wins with Floria (2002), Benicia (2008) and Slapstick (2010).
A winner of two of her five career starts to date Appearance was last seen finishing a brave fourth behind Saturday’s 2012 Coolmore Classic favourite Streama in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m), Sunday’s race a slight drop back in class from that run.
Still Appearance and Quinn face some very competitive fillies including likely Keith F Nolan Classic favourite when bookmaker.com.au markets are released, She Goes To Rio.
The Anthony Cummings-trained She Goes To Rio shoots for win number three on the trot, the daughter of Captain Rio last seen wining the Listed Canberra Guineas (1400m).
Other big chances in the Keith F Nolan Classic field this Sunday include the Peter Moody-trained Redoute’s Choice Chateau Margaux looking for their fourth straight win but from a wide gate, and the David Payne-trained Happy Hussy drawn nicely in barrier four who was third in this year’s Gold Coast Magic Millions Guineas.
Warwick Farm-based trainer Guy Walter has indicated that Appearance will be aimed at the $550,000 Group 1 ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 21 should she perform up to par on Sunday.
Quinn gained confidence that Appearance would be able to book an ATC Oaks 2012-bid after she drew nicely with barrier two for Sunday’s clash.
“A good barrier is always an advantage, no matter who you are,” Quinn said.
“It gives you a chance to really finish the race off strong.
“I think it’s a very even race and most probably what will get the best run in the race will be a good help.
“It’s never an easy race to win and it’s a nice handy field.”
Key to Appearance’s chances on Sunday is how she handles the step up to the mile, especially at Kembla Grange, the 1400m of the Surround Stakes the furthest she’s been to date.
“You just need a good tough filly for the 1600 metres at Kembla,” Quinn said.
“She’s always shown that she wants a bit of ground.
“If she keeps progressing the way she is there is no reason why she won’t run that sort of (Oaks) trip.”
The only other jockey engaged for Saturday’s showdown looking to make history as the first to win the Keith F Nolan Classic more than once is Peter Robl aboard top fancy She Goes To Rio.
Michael Rodd was also to attempt the feat before the John O’Shea-trained Colorado Claire was withdrawn.
Keith F Nolan Classic odds are due to be released at our preferred online bookie bookmaker.com.au shortly.
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