Will Willy win?
Jockey Rod Quinn and Warwick Farm trainer Guy Walter have a working relationship dating back nearly three decades.
Quinn, the 50-year-old elder statesman of the Sydney jockey ranks and a horseman of the highest calibre with seven Group One winners on his CV and closing in on 2000 career winners, has been given an ideal opportunity to snare his first Goulburn Cup aboard the Walter-trained five-year-old Willy Jimmy.
The opportune ride in Friday’s $60,000 Goulburn City Cup (1600m) is, in Quinn’s own words: “Definitely by far my best ever chance in a Goulburn Cup, a race I’d dearly love to win.”
Quinn first teamed up with Walter in the 1983-84 racing season.
His association with Willy Jimmy goes back to the gelding’s early education.
“When Guy first came to Warwick Farm I was riding for John Rosenthal,” Quinn said.
“Guy was a mate of John’s. I’ve ridden for him (Walter) on and off ever since, it’s been a while, and probably the last two and a half years regularly.”
Willy Jimmy, part-owned by Sportsbet’s Matthew Tripp, has been a slow developer but the son of Dehere has, under Walter’s astute tutelage, finally come of age with successive Warwick Farm wins and two great seconds during the Melbourne spring carnival confirming his current form.
Quinn was aboard Willy Jimmy in his first seven starts and had a lot to do with the gelding’s development.
“I had a bit to do with him as a young horse, watched him develop,” Quinn said.
“He always showed ability but was a big dopey lad. He’s still a bit that way.
“He’s a horse that loses concentration in his races. It’s little things like that that can bring him undone, that’s been his problem.
“Did you see him on the home turn at his last start in Melbourne? His last five runs however have been excellent.
“Before this campaign his form was a bit hot and cold. He’s held his form really well this time.
“It’s a sign he’s finally turning the corner. As I said, he’s always had plenty of ability, the trip to Melbourne, his first time away, has hopefully toughened him up and he can now go on with the job.
“Guy’s done a great job with him.
“It looks a really nice race for him tomorrow. There should be speed on, a good track, not a big field.
“Hopefully he can get the prize.”
Quinn should have won last year’s Cup on the Pat Webster-trained Parfumier.
“I was on the horse but got suspended the week before and Tim Clark took over. That’s racing,” he said.