TWO of Port Macquarie’s premier horse trainers go head-to-head today in a bid to keep the Queen of the North title in town.
The pair are the area’s best chance of keeping the trophy in its home town after the race has been dominated by visiting trainers in recent years.
Port Macquarie trainers account for only two wins in the last nine years of the race.
Marc Quinn has been on a roll in the last eight months. He will run Cultural from barrier 18 today.
He said some of his biggest competition came from veteran trainer Neil Godbolt, who will run Al Nova from barrier one in the big race.
Quinn said there was also strong competition from out of town once again.
But his mare is in top form, recording a number of wins in recent weeks.
He also said the 1200 metre distance suited her down to a tee.
“She has shown a lot of good form lately,” he said.
“It is a step up in grade, but we’re really happy with where she’s at, at the moment.”
Quinn said his runner was an all rounder, who could perform on both wet and dry tracks, but said she preferred firmer runs.
“She won at Taree last start which was on a dampish track so she’s pretty happy with whatever,” he said.
“And the distance, it’s perfect for her, she should do well.”
One thing against Cultural is her wide barrier draw but Quinn preferred to remain optimistic.
“It’s not a completely bad thing,” he said.
“It means the other horses won’t crowd her and she’s got good gate speed, so she should get out into a nice position early on.”
Quinn said taking out the race and the trainers premiership were on his list of goals.
“This is Port Macquarie’s third biggest race so it would be nice to get a winner,” he said.
“I have had a good few months, and at the moment I’m about five wins in front in the trainers premiership, but there’s still seven months to go in the season so I’m not going to rest on my laurels.
“It only takes a double and a treble for someone else to catch up.”