Brisbane’s in-form trainer Tony Gollan kicked off an eventual stakes double at Saturday’s Ipswich Cup Day with Alma’s Fury beating home race favourite Masthead in the Eye Liner Stakes 2014.
Gollan, of ‘Boom Brothers’ fame with Group 1 winners and half-brothers Spirit Of Boom and Temple Of Boom, was thrilled with the performance of his Refuse To Bend six-year-old Alma’s Fury in the $175,000 Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) where the 59kg top weight dug deep to win by a short half-head.
They were given a gun run from Jim Byrne, also aboard for their first-up seventh to Sacred Star when swamped late in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) a fortnight earlier, in a ride Gollan was quick to praise post-win.
“I was very confident he [Alma’s Fury] would run well,” Gollan told The Courier Mail on Saturday.
“He just needed a barrier and we got a ripper Jim Byrne ride.
“He rides this track so well.”
In second was the Waller-trained $4.20 favourite Masthead carrying 56.5kg with Chris Munce aboard, the Written Tycoon gelding also having run second in the QTC Cup.
Munce said he got a sweet ride in the Eye Liner and said the loss could be credited to Masthead having missed a run in last Saturday’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).
“I got a magnificent cart into the race and I was in the best spot ever,” Munce said.
“I ran up to win, but missing that run last week may have told.”
Finishing off the winning Eye Liner Stakes trifecta nearly two and a half lengths off the winner was then Barry Lockwood’s Foreplay six-year-old Playitstragith ($14).
Previously prepared by Paul Murray at Kembla Grange, Alma’s Fury has had just the two runs for Gollan who was confident all along that they would improve on the QTC Cup run with a big performance in the Eye Liner.
“I was shooting blind going into the QTC Cup, but I knew he had improved nicely coming into this race,” Gollan said on Saturday.
“I thought Alma’s Fury’s first run for us in the QTC Cup was great and we drew a good alley today which meant Jim could ride him with a sit.
“Then again things didn’t exactly work out as we planned to be swooping on the corner.”
Gollan also paid tribute to the horse’s previous trainer Murray under whose tutelage Alma’s Fury won the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) in Sydney in February last year.
“I want to pay tribute to Paul,” he said.
“The horse arrived in great condition and we were able to get right on with it.”
Alma’s Fury is set to back-up at the Sunshine Coast Saturday week, June 28, in the $175,000 Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m).
There they will look to achieve the Eye Liner Stakes – Glasshouse Handicap double achieved just two years ago by the Kelso Wood-trained Belltone.
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2014 Eye Liner Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Ipswich Race 6 – 14/06/2014
|1||1||ALMA’S FURY||Tony Gollan||Jim Byrne||–||4||59kg||$12|
|2||4||MASTHEAD||Chris Waller||Chris Munce||0.1L||12||56.5kg||$4.20F|
|3||11||PLAYITSTRAIGHT||Barry Lockwood||Dwayne Dunn||2.4L||11||54kg||$14|
|4||7||JETSET LAD (NZ)||Brian Smith||Anthony Allen (a)||3.2L||6||54.5kg||$13|
|5||12||BILLY AUCASH||Brian Smith||Vinnie Colgan||4L||5||54kg||$61|
|6||2||STEEL ZIP||Pat Duff||Brad Stewart||4.8L||13||58kg||$18|
|7||3||STARTSMEUP||Bruce W Hill||Timothy Bell||5L||7||57kg||$9|
|8||10||QFIGHTER||Matthew Dunn||Tegan Harrison (a)||5.1L||10||54kg||$17|
|9||8||REGULAR||Bryan Guy||Janette K Johnson (a)||5.2L||9||54kg||$15|
|10||9||ELLAWISDOM||Trevor Thomas||Ric McMahon||5.3L||3||54kg||$17|
|11||13||INTO THE RED||Kelso Wood||Jason Taylor||7.1L||2||54kg||$9|
|12||6||BLACK CASH||Kelly Doughty||Michael Cahill||7.9L||1||55kg||$4.40|
|13||5||PHELAN READY||Jason McLachlan||Eddie Wilkinson||8.1L||8||56kg||$13|