While much of the Stradbroke Handicap Day attention for Brisbane horseman Tony Gollan will be on his ‘Boom Brothers’ in the day’s major, he’s also looking forward to saddling up two top youngsters in the meeting’s other Group 1s.
Gollan has been on a high since scoring the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 quinella with half-brothers Spirit Of Boom and Temple Of Boom.
Both horses back up in the $1.36 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm this weekend, Spirit Of Boom’s swansong race before retirement.
Both also worked well in their final gallop on Tuesday morning at Breakfast with the Stars in an ideal Stradbroke Handicap 2014 lead-up.
“They have worked together before all their runs during the carnival and it has been a success,” Gollan told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“I was happy with what they did and the way they were when they came back indicates they are in as good, if not better condition, than they were before the 10,000.”
Victory would be an especially fitting finish for Sequalo six-year-old Spirit Of Boom who has contested the past two Stradbrokes including their fourth last year behind upset winner Linton.
“It is a race that, as a Queenslander, I want to win and they come into it in the best form of their career,” Gollan said.
“You want to get excited because it would be the perfect way for Spirit to finish if he can win.
“It is the end of a chapter of my career and it will be a touch sad on Saturday because I might not get a horse like him again.”
While hopeful of another big performance from the two Group 1 winners, Gollan is a little wary about the predicted wet weather and the likelihood of a Slow – Heavy track on race day.
“I think everyone is nervous because we know what happens to Eagle Farm if we get rain during the meeting,” he said.
“The track is in the best condition it has been for a long time, but any rain and it will chop out very quickly. It always does.
“It can go from a good to heavy very quickly, and that’s not a good look.”
Outside of the Stradbroke Gollan is also well represented at home on Saturday with top chances in the meeting’s two other features.
In the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) he’ll start Rough Habit Plate winner Amexed, and then in the $500,000 Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) his top two-year-old Looks Like The Cat will line-up for their fourth career start.
“It is probably my strongest team for a big day and it is a really big day up here,” Gollan said.
“They are all chances and hopefully one of them can get the job done. I’m very happy with what I can control.”
Amexed is one of the top 2014 Queensland Derby fancies with the Pentire three-year-old looking to return to their Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) winning form from May 10.
They were last seen finishing four lengths away fourth to the Chris Waller-trained Vilanova in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m), the winner now favourite for Saturday’s showdown.
Looks Like The Cat meanwhile also comes off a nice lead-up into their maiden Group 1 start.
After an Eagle Farm win in early February the Husson colt was runner-up to another Waller star, Brazen Beau who is favourite for the 2014 JJ Atkins, in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m).
Last start Brazen Beau was beaten after missing the kick in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) but has retained favouritism for the Group 1, the Sires also producing Looks Like The Cat who finished third.
“They are the future,” Gollan said of the two youngsters.
“Amexed has already done it winning the Rough Habit, but he was common enough in the Grand Prix last time.”
All the Eagle Farm race fields for the weekend are set for release shortly so stay tuned.
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