Trainer Ron Quinton is looking to three-year-old Royal Celebration to step up at Randwick.
Royal Celebration’s form says he has one win and four seconds from five starts which is frustrating for any trainer.
And while Ron Quinton wants to see the colt win at Randwick on Saturday, he can now look at Royal Celebration’s runner-up finishes in a more forgiving light.
At his past three starts, Royal Celebration has finished second to The Autumn Sun, Gem Song and Yulong January.
Since May, The Autumn Sun has gone on to win two Group One races and is being hailed as the next Australian champion, while Gem Song and Yulong January have both finished second in Listed races at their most recent starts.
That is encouraging for Quinton as Royal Celebration heads to Saturday’s 1400m-benchmark 76 race as the early favourite.
“He has bumped into a couple of decent ones,” Quinton said.
“And out of the race he won at Warwick Farm,I think there have been five winners so it would be good to see him get another one.”
The Autumn Sun has won two Group One races over 1600m, the J J Atkins and the Caulfield Guineas but Quinton is unsure what distance Royal Celebration could reach.
“He is by Excelebration who used to chase Frankel around in mile races England,” he said.
“And he’s out of an unraced mare so it’s hard to tell what distance he can get to. I just want to see him win another race first before we think too far ahead.”
The three-year-old race is the first on the Randwick program and with Royal Celebration his only runner, Quinton will head home to watch the Cox Plate, a race he won as a jockey in 1981 aboard the horse many regarded as Australia’s best ever – until recently.
Quinton rode Kingston Town to the second of his three Cox Plate wins.
“I watch every Cox Plate and I will be glued to the TV,” he said.
“It is the pinnacle of weight-for-age racing and I’m sure we will be watching Winx win again.”