IN FORM: Pennino and Stephanie Thornton won the BM90 race at Eagle Farm on January 18.
IN FORM: Pennino and Stephanie Thornton won the BM90 race at Eagle Farm on January 18.

Pennino set to storm home late in Sunshine Coast Cup

RACING: Impressive apprentice jockey Stephanie Thornton expects in-form local hope Pennino to produce a blistering late charge in the Sunshine Coast Cup on Saturday.

The four-year-old mare enters the Listed 1400m race after an eye-catching 1.5 length win over 1200m at Eagle Farm.

Last weekend’s outing was Thornton’s first ride on Pennino, but she saw enough to suggest the Darryl Hansen-trained charge could give this weekend’s $150,000 event a serious shake.

“Providing she backs up from last weekend she’s well and truly competitive within the race.”

“She won very easily last start and did everything right.

“She’ll need a bit of luck (from barrier 12 and) she’ll probably go back like we did (last week) and hopefully we can get a nice cart in and I’m sure she’ll be storming home late.”

The 2019 Gold Coast Guineas winner, Pennino is one of three Hansen-trained horses set to compete in the race.

“She’s very confident within herself is what I found last start,” Thornton said.

“Once the gaps opened up coming to the 500, she didn’t hesitate to take them and she’s really strong to the line and I really like that in a horse.”

SET TO RACE: Stephanie Thornton won the BM90 race at Eagle Farm on January 18.
SET TO RACE: Stephanie Thornton won the BM90 race at Eagle Farm on January 18.

Eagle Farm-based Thornton, 20, is second in the Queensland metropolitan apprentice jockey’s standings, behind Bayley Northdurft, but is leading the standings at Corbould Park.

“It’s a really beautiful track to ride,” she said.

“It’s a nice big course and as a rule most horses get their chance,” she said.

“As far as Pennino goes, it’s going to suit her like Eagle Farm did.

She said she was not thinking about premierships.

“I’m thrilled with how I’m going (but) I try to avoid looking at premierships.

“I think you can get too focused on them if you do look at them.

“My main goal is to outride my claim (currently 1.5kg), ride as many winners as I can and if anything else comes on top of that, it’s just a bonus.”

She’s spending more time at Corbould Park.

“I just recently started work up there (Caloundra) as I do only have 14 winners left (to outride her claim) so now’s the time I really need to be building stronger connections with every trainer.”



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