Tony Gollan’s gallant galloper Temple Of Boom has come up with the ideal barrier draw for tomorrow’s Ramornie Handicap at Grafton, giving the four-year-old every chance to upset race favourite Black Piranha.
One of the showcase events of the Clarence River Jockey Club’s XXXX Gold July Carnival, the $130,000 Listed WHK Ramornie Handicap (1200m) runs on Wednesday and this year attracted a final field of 13 sprinters.
Leading the entries is Con Karakatsanis’ dual Stradbroke Handicap champion Black Piranha.
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Drawn in barrier seven, Black Piranha is the early $3.70 favourite in the Ramornie Handicap betting markets despite the rising eight-year-old having to set a weight carrying record to win with their hefty 61kg allocation.
Meeting Black Piranha 6.5kg better in the weights is $6 hopeful Temple Of Boom, who Gollan believes has what it takes to become the 2011 Ramornie Handicap winner.
“Black Piranha is a very good horse,” Gollan conceded.
“He’s won two Stradbrokes.
“But in a way, him being in the race has opened the door for a horse like Temple Of Boom.”
Set to jump from the perfect gate three draw with top New South Wales provincial jockey Greg Ryan booked for the ride, Piccolo four-year-old Temple Of Boom is well positioned to return to the earlier form that saw them win the $200,000 Magic Millions Sprint (1000m) at the Gold Coast on January 15.
“When he won the Magic Millions Spring this year, Atomic Force finished third and he went on to win the (Group 1) Galaxy,” Gollan said.
Wednesday will be the first time Ryan takes the mount on Temple Of Boom, and Gollan hopes the hoop can give his horse a nice run.
“It’s a bit of a left-field booking because Greg has never ridden for me before,” Gollan said.
“But he is obviously one of the leading riders on country New South Wales’ tracks so I’m happy to have him on.”
Last year, the promising Temple Of Boom became a stakes winner with their Melbourne Cup Carnival win in the Listed Swisse Vitamins Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day and Toowoomba trainer Gollan is hoping they can produce a similar effort at Grafton tomorrow.
The Ramornie Handicap will see Temple Of Boom racing third-up this prep, the horse having finished just out of the placings at their two previous black type assignments during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Resuming after a four and a half month break, Temple Of Boom finished three lengths away fourth to winner Trusted Partner in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm on June 11, a good finish considering they struck interference near the 800 metre mark.
Last start produced a similar result, Temple Of Boom starting from an awkward double digit gate in the Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on June 25 before finishing three lengths away fifth to the Peter Snowden-trained Pinwheel.
“He was caught three-deep on the speed in the Healy Stakes so it was a really good run,” Gollan said.
“It was no fault of Corey’s (Corey Brown)…the horse was devoid of luck.”
The reigning Ramornie Handicap winner, Pinwheel will not be back to defend their title this year but Snowden and the Darley Racing operation will still be represented tomorrow by Jerezana.
A well-bred daughter of Lonhro, Jerezana has drawn barrier six and is looking to bounce back from her disappointing last-start 13th to Born To Rock in the Listed Gai Waterhouse Classic Stakes (12350m) at Ipswich on June 18.
Snowden is reportedly happy with the four-year-old mare’s fitness, saying she showed strong form in trackwork last Saturday.
“She’s in good order, all is fine,” Snowden said.
“Since coming home from Brisbane she’s worked well.”
Not winning the WJ Healey could actually have been a blessing in disguise for Temple Of Boom, who would have attracted a much heftier Ramornie Handicap weight had they come home first.
“Originally I thought my horse may have been weighted out of it (the Ramornie) but with Black Piranha there it sets the Ramornie up as a very intriguing race,” Gollan said.
Following the Ramornie Handicap, Temple Of Boom is likely to return to Victoria to target the start-of-season sprints at the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
2011 WHK Ramornie Handicap Final Field & Barriers
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||568009X538||BLACK PIRANHA||Con Karakatsanis||Michael Rodd||7||61kg||112|
|2||121212X0LX||HERE DE ANGELS||Wendy Roche||Jeff Penza||13||60.5kg||111|
|3||913651X103||MOTSPUR||Kris Lees||Brad Pengelly||5||55kg||100|
|4||0X21131X45||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Greg Ryan||3||54.5kg||99|
|5||111X674602||MEET GEORGE||Brian Smith||Scott Seamer||1||53.5kg||97|
|6||20338415X8||OLLIE VOLLIE||Sue Grills||Dale Spriggs||8||53kg||93|
|7||X24X705160||JEREZANA||Peter Snowden||Andrew Gibbons||6||53kg||92|
|8||7234100X80||FALCO STAR||Liam Birchley||Robert Thompson||12||53kg||89|
|9||1440X80009||KRYPTELON||Stephen Jones||Luke Rolls (a)||4||53kg||86|
|10||136050X943||THE SIXTIES||Tracy Green||Jason Holder||11||53kg||83|
|11||34X0564X92||LIFEBUOY||Terry McCarthy||Timothy Bell (a)||10||53kg||81|
|12||860X1630X2||BLUE JUPITER||Liam Birchley||Paul Hammersley||9||53kg||79|
|13||62113X2X90||GOING FINE||Shane Randall||Terry Treichel||2||53kg||69|