James McDonald will be hoping for a quick return...
Toowoomba trainer Tony Gollan is confident his progressive sprinter Temple Of Boom has what it takes to break their Group 1 maiden first-up in the 2012 Lightning Stakes Saturday week, so long as one very notable rival choses to bypass the showdown.
Peter Moody’s undefeated turf champion Black Caviar races this Saturday at Caulfield going up to 1400m for the first time in the $400,000 Group 1 CF Orr Stakes.
With her future racing plans yet to be 100% confirmed, there is still a slim chance she could then slip back to her pet distance of 1000m just seven days later and face off against her old rival Hay List who resumes in the $750,000 Group 1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington on February 18.
Another galloper heading towards a start in the Lightning Stakes 2012 is Temple Of Boom, the Piccolo five-year-old last seen finishing third in a blanket finish with winner Sister Madly and runner-up Rarefied in the Group 2 Salinger Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day.
Prior to the Salinger, Temple Of Boom posted their ninth career win and their and their third at stakes level in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m), also at Flemington.
Now Gollan is hoping after a freshen-up they can return in the same flying form and salute at Flemington, this time in an elite level clash.
“He’s settled in well this time, better than any previous occasion he’s been down there,” Gollan said.
“He hasn’t missed a beat and is becoming an old hand at travelling.”
Aside from ace sprinter Hay List, Temple Of Boom is also likely to face off against fellow Queenslander Buffering, the Rob Heathcote-trained four-old to race for the first time since their game second to Black Caviar in the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) on November 5.
Following the Lightning Stakes, Gollan also plans to run Temple Of Boom in the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 10.
In the current 2012 Newmarket Handicap odds at Luxbet, which are led by doubtful acceptor Black Caviar at $2.60, Temple Of Boom is rated a $21 chance – a price certain to firm should they perform well in the Lightning this weekend.
Longer-term options remain wide open for the untapped galloper, Gollan naming the $350,000 Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Royal Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival on April 21 as possible goal, also not ruling out a trip to Dubai in March.
“He’s nominated for an 1100 metre race in Dubai on March 31 but he’s unlikely to go unles he wins the Lightning or Newmarket,” Golllan said.
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