Daysee Doom triumphs in the Group One Coolmore Classic (Lisa Grimm)
It was a popular win. Ron Quinton has always been a favourite for Sydney crowds, initially as a champion hoop (eight jockeys’ premierships in the 70s and 80s) and now as a leading trainer.
On Saturday at Rosehill Gardens he was again in the spotlight after his outstanding mare, Daysee Doom, had captured the Group One Coolmore Classic over 1500m.
Mobbed after the race by well-wishers, the ever affable Quinton quipped that “I’ve always managed to find myself a couple of good mares”.
True that. Indeed, the Coolmore is a race which Quinton has definitely left his mark on, steering Miss Personality to victory in the inaugural running of the race in 1973 (then known as the STC Fillies & Mares Classic) and doubling the deed in 1984 via Emancipation (one of six Group Ones for the champion mare). Meanwhile, as a trainer, he had previously saddled up two winners in Ofcourseican (2012) and Peeping (2016).
“This has been a good race for me … Max Lees won five of them and I’m doing my best to catch up,” Quinton points out.
Always something of a mentor to jockeys, Ofcourseican and Peeping were the first Group One winners – respectively – for Kathy O’Hara and Sam Clipperton, while Andrew Adkins now owes his initial score at the elite level to Quinton too.
“Andrew has worked hard to get where he is,” Quinton said of Adkins who only came out of his apprenticeship six weeks ago. “They just need a chance … they can ride as good as anyone but people don’t give them a go. Andrew only had the one ride at Rosehill on Saturday, but it was a great ride and it’s all about opportunity.”
Despite having to contend with another wide barrier – Daysee Doom has drawn 12 of 12, 5 of 12, 16 of 16, 6 of 8 and, on Saturday, 14 of 17 in her last five outings – Adkins had the 5YO mare in a good position turning for home in the Coolmore.
However, when the leader Flippant dropped off at the 200m mark, Adkins and Daysee Doom had to do some scrambling, holding off a fast finishing pack which included Oregon’s Day and Silent Sedition.
They were right up to the task and Adkins was quick to thank his supporters.
“Ron (Quinton) is like family to me … a second dad,” a clearly excited Adkins said after the race. “And the mare is so tough. She performed really well three weeks ago to win the (Group Two) Millie Fox and now she’s done it again – this time in a Group One – taking on some of the best mares in one of the toughest fields you’ll see.
“I can’t thank the owners, Mr and Mrs Griffin enough. They have been the most loyal people to me and I wouldn’t be here today without them.”
Aside from racing Daysee Doom, Jack and Anthea Griffin also bred the horse from their Mister C mare, See A Victory.
Unfortunately, See A Victory only produced the one runner in Daysee Doom, with both broodmare and the following foal dying within a few days of each other.
The Griffins also bred Group One winner, Bluebird The Word and 2001 Coolmore Classic winner, Porto Roca, who would go on to produce Dubai World Cup winner Monterosso and is the granddam of Silent Sedition, who won the Group One William Reid and was a lip second to Heavens Above in last year’s Coolmore.
Silent Sedition went close again on Saturday with a lightning finish for third, the irony of which was not lost on Jack Griffin.
Perth based Griffin and his wife had just returned from overseas and decided against making the trip east for the Coolmore, parking themselves in front of the telly for the big race.
“I noticed Silent Sedition rattling home, but I was always confident Daysee Doom would hold on. She’s a tough mare,” Griffin enthused. “It’s terrific to breed another Group One winner, but it’s nice to crack one as an owner too.”
Surprisingly, Daysee Doom was sent out a $21 pick for the Coolmore but it’s unlikely she’ll be anywhere near those odds for her next outing.
“We leave it entirely up to Ron, but she has a number of options: the (Group Two) Emancipation Stakes over the same course and distance on 31 March, the ($3 million) Doncaster Mile on 7 April, or the ($1 million) Coolmore Legacy on 14 April.
“If she can get a decent barrier draw she’d have to be considered some sort of chance in the Doncaster.”
Although the Griffins don’t have a broodmare in yonder paddock, they are in no rush to retire Daysee Doom.
“She’s only had the 19 starts (for nine wins – four at black type – five placings and $1,174,575 in prizemoney) and we’d like to keep racing her through to at least next autumn before making any decision as to her breeding future.”
That’s good news for racing fans and good news too for Aquis Farm which stands Daysee Doom’s sire, Domesday, also sire of Coolmore runnerup, Oregon’s Day.
Daysee Doom is one of 16 stakes winners (four Group One winners) for Domesday, who stood last season at a fee of $8,800 and covered 141 mares from his Queensland base.