Sequalo colt Spirit Of Boom is the early top pick to salute in the $50,000 Hardy Brothers Jewellers QTIS 3YO Handicap (1200m), one of eight quality events on the Tattersall’s Tiara raceday at Eagle Farm.
Drawn in barrier 12 and due to be ridden by ace apprentice hoop Timothy Bell, Spirit Of Boom has displayed plenty of promise over their 16-start career to date that has produced four wins and as many minor placings.
Two starts back the emerging sprinter came within a nose of Falino in the Group 3 BTC Classic (1350m) at Doomben on May 21.
Their next run was not quite as lucky, but still eye-catching, when Spirit Of Boom finished less than a length away fifth to Steps In Time in the Listed Daybreak Lover Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 4.
“We are looking forward to getting him back to the six furlongs on Saturday,” Gollan said.
“He is faced with the obstacle of being in a handicap race where previously this campaign he has been protected by set weight races over the carnival so far.”
Despite their strong claims, even with the hefty topweight of the QTIS 3YO Handicap with 59.5kg, Spirit Of Boom is not the only horse from Toowoomba seeking a winter city win in the race.
Jumping from barrier 14 with master tactical rider Brad Stewart in the mount is Rodrigeuz.
Not fancied in the markets paying $21, fellow Toowoomba hopeful Rodrigeuz may not have the draw but the Ron Macrae-trained Iglesia gelding does has the form and weight to suggest they will be competitive.
Rodrigeuz, allocated just 53kg for Saturday, remains lightly-raced having started six times to date, a 41-week injury-enforced spell to blame.
“We gave him a good break,” Macrae said, before explaining the numerous injury setbacks Rodrigeuz has faced over the months.
Having been clipped by another runner in a trial around March, Rodrigeuz suffered a bone splint in his off-leg which got infected.
“They thought they might have had to remove it (the bone splint) but luckily it welded on and we were able to get him going again,” Macrae said.
“We thought we’d have him ready for the winter carnival.”
Although the winter carnival riches were ruled out for Rodrigeuz, they will get their chance for back-to-back wins this weekend before a possible spring carnival campaign.
The horse still has an imposing record from there six runs having won twice and placed in the money in the four other starts.
When bought back from their nine month break on June 11 at their home track at Toowoomba, Rodrigeuz was heavily-supported and didn’t disappoint.
In a breezy first-up effort, Rodrigeuz easily accounted for their rivals winning over 1100m by two and a half lengths, showing Macrae they had lost none of their shine.
“They never got a look at him,” he said.
“He’s a horse that’s just got to learn to hit the line a bit more.”
Macrae also commented that Rodrigeuz had come through their first-up run very well and was back to full fitness.
“He pulled up really well, I am very happy with the way he pulled up.”
“He’s a nice horse,” Macrae said.
“He’s a horse going places I think.”
Still, Macrae knows it will be a tough task from their wide draw at Eagle Farm tomorrow.
“It’s an awkward position,” he admitted.
“If you go back in a field like that….you can run ‘em down.
“He’s going to need a lot of luck.
“He’s a good horse, he just drew an awkward alley.”