Connections Cast Ep4: Ron Quinton and Darren Beadman

4 min read
The first in a regular spot of Connections Cast is Mate vs Mate, where racing friends go head to head! In this edition, Ron Quinton and Darren Beadman banter about Theo Green days, slings and the best stallions they’ve ridden.

Ron Quinton and Darren Beadman are two legendary jockeys who have turned their horsemanship to working as successful trainers later in their careers.

Facing off in the first 'mate versus mate' battle, they share a world of experience in their chat with Angus Roland, reflecting on what makes a good racehorse, a good yearling, a good stallion and a good broodmare, as well as many other things.

Quinton recalls riding superstars like Emancipation (Bletchingly), Kingston Town (Bletchingly) and Dalmacia (NZ), as well as champion 2-year-olds, who would become influential stallions such as Rory's Jester, Sir Dapper, Marscay and Marauding (NZ).

Ron Quinton

"Marscay was a dominant 2-year-old all year and although he got beaten the start before the Slipper, Jack Ingham was very confident he could win the Slipper. I was 2-3l behind Vaindarra at the 200-metre mark and beat her by 2l pulling up," he recalled.

"Marauding was a monster 2-year-old. They told me he was 580kgs, and he wasn't only tall, but he was long as well. He was like riding a semi-trailer. It was unheard of that a Sir Tristram would win a Golden Slipper, because they were just big horses and most of them were middle-distance horses or stayers, he was a very, very good horse."

Beadman rode Champion father and son Octagonal (NZ) and Lonhro and there are few better-placed to assess what they had in common and what set them apart.

"Acceleration defined the difference between Lonhro and Octagonal. If there was one trait that was different between them it was that," Beadman said.

"The quality of Octagonal was that he could do whatever you asked him to do. Lonhro was a little bit more dynamic as far as pushing the button.

"He was a very unique horse in the sense that I have never ridden another horse that when you went through the gears, you could feel him lower himself down. It was an eerie feeling."

Darren Beadman | Image courtesy of Martin King / Sportpix

Acceleration is also a theme Quinton touches on when assessing the quality of the best horses he has ridden and trained.

"That's the difference between the great horses and the average ones, the acceleration. That's a big thing. If they have that it gets you out of trouble," he said.

"Most of the good horses you ride, you don't tend to get into trouble on them because they have the adaptability and the speed to cover up your mistakes sometimes."

Both men also rode overseas, Quinton spending a successful spell in Ireland with John Oxx, while Beadman rode in France and, of course, Hong Kong.

"I thought I was a reasonably good horseman before I went (to Ireland), but I learned a lot. More about the horses themselves than just riding them." - Ron Quinton

"I thought I was a reasonably good horseman before I went, but I learned a lot. More about the horses themselves than just riding them," Quinton recalled of his Irish experience.

"I rode my first Group 1 winner in Ireland for Sheikh Mohammed. It was a race they call the Moyglare S., and I won it on a filly for him. I had a wonderful time in Ireland. I really, really enjoyed it.

"John Oxx is one of the finest gentlemen I had ever come across in my life. The likes of Theo Green, my father, Neville Begg and John Oxx, I don’t think you could ever meet four better individuals in your life."

Beadman's French experience taught him a lot about the need to adapt to your surroundings.

"The old saying, 'When in Rome, do what the Romans do'. You would have to try and adapt to their style or type of riding." - Darren Beadman

"The old saying, 'When in Rome, do what the Romans do'. You would have to try and adapt to their style or type of riding," he said.

"What I was able to then bring back from France was getting the horses to relax. They rode with a lot longer rein over there."

As for the mate versus mate trivia contest, let’s just say experience held sway on the day.

"That’s' why he was the master I guess!" Beadman said.

Connections Cast
Ron Quinton
Darren Beadman