Dubbo's Matthew Coffee drives his first winner as Wake Up Quinn salutes in stunning victory at Parkes Harness Racing Club

Twelve months ago the Coffee family was left cursing its luck after seeing Wake Up Quinn score victory at Eugowra’s Carnival of Cups meeting.

Leading up to that, they had the chance to purchase the gelding but teenager Matthew couldn’t make up his mind for certain and the chance went by.

But on Sunday the two combined in a special win for the Dubbo youngster.

Seven weeks ago, after Wake Up Quinn’s owner Brad Hillyer had been looking for someone to switch the eight-year-old too it ended up with the Dubbo-based trainer Amanda Coffee.

And on Sunday he took out the Parkes Furniture One Pace (2040m), handing Matthew Coffee his first win as a driver.

And the win was a stunning one, leaving the Kinross Woloroi Orange student as surprised as anyone after he and Wake Up Quinn had sat deep in the field for much of the journey.

“I was in a bit of shock because I didn’t think he had a shot at the end but it only really hit me that I’d won when we got back to scale,” he said.

VICTORY: Matthew Coffee scored a stunning maiden win on Sunday.

“I didn’t really think we had a chance when we left the back straight but when we went around the bend he started picking them up and he got there in the end.”

There was drama early in the race as Amanda Coffee’s other hope, Our Grasshopper, refused to budge at all once the lights went green,

He was eventually removed from the track as the race continued, and Now I Get Around ($4.60) led the way.

As the field approached the bend on the bell lap Coffee and Wake Up Quinn found themselves in last position.

But the teenage driver, in only his 32nd start, peeled wide and then started to build up a head of steam.

Smooth Mace ($11) appeared to have the race won but Wake Up Quinn came flying down the outside and a photo handed him is maiden win by a half-neck.

The youngster, who combined his HSC studies with his passion for working horses, has been around the sport for plenty of time and is at the Bathurst track most Wednesday night lending a hand to a number of trainers.

“I’ve been enjoying it a lot. There’s not a lot of opportunities with school but I’m still enjoying it,” he said, adding he was thankful to the likes of Anthony Frisby and, in particular, Luke McCarthy for helping him so much early in his career.

The win was also another enjoyable one for trainer Amanda Coffee, who now has four wins in 52 starts.

“We’ve had a bit of success lately and we’ve got a few nice horses so hopefully we can keep going,” Matthew added.

Cofee confesed his driving may have to take a bit of a backseat as the year goes on with the HSC exams on the horizon but he added he would be working horses as much as he could.

The success for Dubbo connections didn’t stop there on Sunday, with young gun Tom Pay driving Sunscreen to victory for his uncle Brett in the second of the Garrards Rio Meteor Series (1660m) heats.

The win was Sunscreen’s second in start number 30.


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