Newmarket trainer Jessica Quinlan makes up for lost time with first winner at Wolverhampton
The year 2020 has not exactly been ideal for new trainers trying to make their way in the sport.
Newmarket’s Jessica Quinlan is in that particular camp, having launched her operation at Linden Lodge Stables in January.
The months that followed have been dominated by uncertainty, but for 24-year-old Quinlan, all of that made way for positivity on September 5 when she was able to field the first two runners of her career in the Arabian Racing Organisation fixture at Wolverhampton.
And what’s more, Quinlan watched on as Al Shaamikh stormed to a one-and-a-half length victory in the Wathba Stallions Cup Maiden Stakes, with her other entrant – Toufan Du Croate – coming home eighth.
“It’s a really exciting start,” said the former St Louis Catholic Primary School pupil.
“I knew Al Shaamikh had the ability but it was his first race and you never know what is going to happen.
“There is every chance they will be a bit green or starstruck when they arrive at a racecourse.
“Thankfully it didn’t impact him and Toufan is a nice horse as well. They both ran as we expected.
“It has been such a long summer waiting for racing and it is just nice to repay the owners.
“They have stuck by me when it would have been easy for them to move elsewhere, to other countries where there was some racing.
“The lockdown gave me a chance to get in the swing of things, but at the same time it has been frustrating because we’ve had horses ready to go.
“It has just been a case of keeping them healthy, happy and ticking over.”
Quinlan, who is the younger sister of successful jump jockey Jack, has been around the racing industry all of her life.
And she is grateful to have such experienced support to call upon when needed.
“Young trainers have shown recently that there is not a risk to owners by leaving their horses in our care,” she added. “We have proved ourselves to be capable, which is great.
“Jack has had a great season with Amy (Murphy, trainer) and it would be great to follow his success.
“Amy is a good friend as well. Our horses sometimes join hers for a bit of work and she is always good for some advice. And my parents are always there as well. I am very lucky to have these people around me.”