High hopes for hoop
Since moving to the Kevin Moses stable in late October, the 19-year-old apprentice has ridden six winners at Randwick – five of them on a Saturday.
The metropolitan media are singing his praises and the son of Ballina trainer Phil Quinnell looks set to make it in the city.
But to crack it properly he must ignore the hype he creates, according to his new mentor.
“What happens with a lot of these young jockeys is they read the press and start to believe what’s written about them,” Moses said.
“I’ve seen too many over time who make a start and then all of a sudden, nothing.”
For the record, Moses, a three-time Sydney premiership winning jockey, believes Quinnell can make it.
“I think he’s a very talented jockey to start with,” Moses said.
“He just needs a bit of polish and if we can keep him going, he’ll certainly make it in Sydney.”
Moses practices a tough love approach when it comes to coaching his young jockeys.
On Saturday, he publicly blasted Quinnell for his ride aboard Mine in Time in the Riverview Hotel Handicap.
“Most of his rides have been very good. I’ve given him some very nice rides and he’s been winning on them and going well,” Moses said.
“But he wasn’t thinking too good on my horses on Saturday.
“We spoke about it after each race.”
It’s an approach that seemed to be working when Quinnell backed up 40 minutes later with a polished ride to score on My Sweet Cookie.
“He (Moses) just let me know what I did. I definitely need to know when I’ve done something wrong because it’s the only way you learn,” Quinnell said.
“There’s nothing better than someone like himself telling you what you’ve done wrong and right.
“It’s just like Andrew Johns coming over and teaching you how to kick a banana kick.”
Quinnell made the move south a day after collecting the 2008 Northern Rivers’ senior jockey and apprentice jockey premiership trophies – a feat achieved only by two jockeys previously.
“It was about half-way through the season when I realised I had a chance, but it was never really my focus,” Quinnell said.
“I was just getting down and riding as many winners as I could.”
In his 10 months with the Brett Bellamy stable in Coffs Harbour, Quinnell rode 48 winners.
“Everything fell into place, a bit of luck went my way and it was a good one,” he said.
“It was probably my biggest achievement so far.”
Upon the recommendation of Malcolm Fitzgerald, Moses agreed to take Quinnell on a trial.
“I brought him down for a couple of days and I kind of liked him,” Moses said.
“He’s got a good personality.
“He’s not a smart-alec. At this stage he hasn’t got much s..t in him.”
Quinnell is on a three-month trial with Moses and if his early form continues that will almost certainly be extended.
“I rode a double on Saturday. It’s the biggest stage on a Saturday and to ride a double after I’d only been there a month is a big deal,” Quinnell said.
“He (Moses) is pretty proud of me. He’s showed a lot of faith in me and given me a go and I’m repaying him as best I can.
“I’d like to stay on – this is definitely the place to be.
“You can definitely feel the horse under you.
“The quality of them; they’re bigger and stronger, definitely faster.”