Sixteen years ago, Ron Quinton was one sleep away from winning the VRC Oaks with Bulla Borghese.
He won't have a runner at Flemington on Ladies Day this year, but spring carnival time brings back fond memories.
“I remember it very clearly. That was a very special day alright,” Quinton said.
Quinton hopes he will have that winning feeling at Rosehill on Saturday when progressive colt Royal Celebration chases successive victories in the 2019 Membership Handicap (1400m).
The three-year-old has an eye-catching resume having won or finished second in all six starts, including a narrow defeat at the hands of star colt The Autumn Sun in May.
“He ran into those bloody good horses,” Quinton said.
“He'd run into Chris Waller's good colt, The Autumn Sun, who is probably the next best horse we're going to have in this country.
“Then he ran into that horse of Kris Lees', Gem Song, that goes pretty good and it only beat him a head. And then he ran into Ciaron Maher's horse (Yulong January) on the bog track and it went back to Melbourne and ran second in a stakes race.”
Royal Celebration got his moment in the sun last start with a comfortable win at his home track of Randwick.
Andrew Adkins sticks with him on Saturday with Quinton's only query a weight rise to 59kg.
“He's got a little bit of a job to do with the 59 but I guess he's earned it and he's sure to run well,” Quinton said.
“He'll have a holiday after this and we'll bring him back for an Inglis race in February.”