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Quinlan looks to Ipswich with promising filly Aitutaki

3 April 2024

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Top hoop Michael Cahill.

By Jordan Gerrans

The Gold Coast’s Peter Quinlan recently notched his first win as a trainer and he now has his eyes on landing his maiden triumph in the Sunshine State.

The 67-year-old has a long history in both codes of equine racing, preparing gallopers and pacers throughout his life while also driving standardbreds in races, as well.

Now retired from the work force, Quinlan has settled into life nicely at the Gold Coast and is poking around with a small team of three.

The keen horseman nabbed his first victory as a trainer late last month south of the Tweed border at Grafton as filly Aitutaki broke maiden ranks after knocking on the door over the last year.

Under the steering of top hoop Michael Cahill, Aitutaki had run a couple of promising races at city level at the midweeks in Brisbane before dropping back to the Northern NSW country maiden.

“She definitely has ability and in her first prep, she ran a couple of nice seconds,” Quinlan said.

Peter Quinlan Next Racing
Michael Cahill Next Racing
Angela Plumb Next Racing

“She was just a little bit immature and she did not really know how to finish things off, so we spelled her.

“Since we brought her back, we may have been a bit ambitious by taking her to town but she always put in for us.

“She has pulled up well from the win and there is probably a couple of more runs in her this prep.”

The former harness man is likely to now head to a Class 1 Handicap over 1350 metres at Ipswich this coming Wednesday with the three-year-old bay.

“I have been progressively trying to get this mare up to the 1400 metres because I think she just goes that bit better if she is given a bit more time to settle in her runs,” he said.

“I think she will get a mile next preparation at least.”

Aitutaki at her Gold Coast stable.

According to Racing Australia’s statistics, Quinlan started a galloper in a race for the first time in June of 2022 with Aitutaki’s victory his first in 26 attempts.

The racing veteran explains that he previously held a licence in the early 1980s and had some success around the Orange area of NSW.

“It was very, very hard as I did not have much money behind me and many owners,” the trainer reflects.

“It was very difficult to make a life out of it.

“I had a horse that won three on the trot and held the 1200 metre track record at Bathurst until a couple of years ago. I had a good little mare as well that won a few races.

“But, as I said, it was difficult in those days. Now that I have retired, I wanted to have another go at training.”

After his first stint training gallopers, Quinlan turned his hand to standardbreds as he trained and drove in races.

He mostly frequented the Central West area of NSW as well as driving at the old Harold Park.

Aitutaki is joined by former Edward Cummings galloper Reformist in Quinlan’s barn alongside an unraced two-year-old.

He trains out of Angela Plumb’s Gold Coast stables.

Quinlan also owns a few horses that Plumb prepares including the consistent Lady Shotgun who won on the Gold Coast Turf Club’s first meeting on the new racing surface late last year.

“I have been really lucky as Angela has been training a few horses for me that my family and I own,” he said.

“I only want to have a few for myself to train, just to play around with a few.

“Angela has been absolutely fantastic to me, always happy to give advice and is always there if you need her.”

The Angela Plumb stable have enjoyed recent success with Shotgun Diva.