Brisbane’s in-form horseman Tony Gollan is shooting for more Black Type success at Ipswich this weekend but knows things need to go the way of his 2014 Eye Liner Stakes rep Alma’s Fury.
Gollan, who celebrated a Group 1 quinella in the Doomben 10,000 with half-brothers Spirit Of Boom and Temple Of Boom this winter, will saddle-up a number of hopefuls in the stakes races on Ipswich Cup Day on Saturday.
One of those is his Refuse To Bend six-year-old Alma’s Fury in the $175,000 Listed City Of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) having just their second start for Gollan.
Allocated the 59kg top weight of the 13 horse Eye Liner Stakes field, Alma’s Fury is second-up for the season after transferring from the Kembla Grange stables of their former trainer Paul Murray a couple of months ago.
After a disappointing autumn campaign that ended with an eighth in the Listed Canberra Cup (2000m) when beaten over seven lengths on March 9, they returned on Queensland Oaks Day (May 31) at Eagle Farm.
There they were seventh behind Sacred Star in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m), a decent effort having been beaten only two lengths in their first-up effort.
Gollan expects improvement in their second start on Saturday with Alma’s Fury to appreciate the predicated showers west of Brisbane leading up to the weekend.
There are four single figure chances in the latest Eye Liner Stakes odds, now led by Chris Waller’s market mover Masthead ($4.80), including Alma’s Fury ($8.50).
They go up from 56kg last time out to 59kg on Saturday, Jim Byrne to ride them from barrier four.
Alma’s Fury hasn’t won since their Group 2 Apollo Stakes victory at Warwick farm in February last year and Gollan remains realistic but hopeful over their chances of an upset.
“The way things have panned out they will need some luck and a bit of rain to win,” Gollan told AAP.
“Alma’s Fury has been with me since the start of this campaign and his run in the unsuitable QTC Cup was handy.
“But his rating is high so he carries 55-56kgs in Group 2 races and 59kgs in Listed races.”
Following their Ipswich assignment Alma’s Fury will next run in either the $100,000 Listed Tatts Mile (1600m) Saturday week at Eagle Farm or be saved for the $175,000 Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) at the Sunshine Coast on June 28.
Gollan’s other major player on Ipswich Cup Day is then another former New South Wales-trained galloper Brave Ali in the day’s marquee race, the $175,000 Listed Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) running as Race 7 at 3:40pm.
Previously trained in Tamworth by Craig Martin, O’Reilly seven-year-old Brave Ali has been in career best form this season.
They won three on the trot in Brisbane earlier this campaign, two of those being under Gollan’s care.
The most recent was over 2128m at Eagle Farm on April 26 in the Listed Tails Stakes where they were ridden by Tegan Harrison.
Harrison, who narrowly missed out on her first Group 1 win when beaten a nose on Temple Of Boom by the Damien Oliver-ridden River Lad in the Stradbroke Handicap last Saturday, was also aboard for their two lead-up wins at Doomben.
She rode them again last start on May 10 when Brave Ali ran a decent third to Pretty Pins in the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) and stays on for Saturday in the 2014 Ipswich Cup.
Gollan is confident the young apprentice is the right horse to give Brave Ali, headed towards the Grafton Cup over 2350m on July 10, the advantage on the weekend.
“Nobody rides Ipswich better than Jim [Byrne on Alma’s Fury] and Tegan has a great record on Brave Ali so I reckon we have the jockeys right,” Gollan said.
Ipswich Cup betting is currently led by the Gerald Ryan-trained Ironstein ($5.50), scratched out from the last at Rosehill in favour of this Queensland run, with Brave Ali the equal $7 second pick with Victorian visitor Garud.
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