Brisbane’s Tony Gollan is hoping it is third time lucky for his veteran sprinter Temple Of Boom in Saturday’s Stradbroke Handicap 2015 as the eight-year-old prepares for another run in Queensland’s richest race.
Temple Of Boom, a $1.8 million earner and dual Group 1 winning son of Piccolo, first contested the Stradbroke Handicap in 2012 on the back of a third in the Doomben 10,000 and finished fifth when beaten three lengths by Peter Moody’s winning mare Mid Summer Music.
After a disappointing next season, the local Queensland champ missed the following year’s race with his Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival preparation coming to an end with a dead last (11th) to Your Song in the BTC Cup.
Gollan however didn’t give up on Temple Of Boom, one of his genuine stable stars, who bounced back last year to win the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) before a BTC Cup fourth, second behind half-brother Spirit Of Boom in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) and then second again in the Stradbroke, which was held at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
This winter with Eagle Farm undergoing an upgrade the $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap runs at Doomben over 1350m instead of the traditional 1400m, and how the gallopers get around the much tighter circuit on Saturday will be crucial to their winning chances.
Gollan hopes that is the case with Temple Of Boom, should the horse who currently sits 30th on the Stradbroke Handicap ballot gain a start, who has had 11 previous Doomben runs but no wins at the track.
His form this time in also leaves something to be desired including his last start 10th to the Chris Waller-trained Boban in the Doomben 10,000 that last produced a Stradbroke Handicap winner in Mid Summer Music (2012).
It was a photo finish in last year’s Stradbroke and while Gollan says the horse owes him nothing, he is still keen to see how he goes around in the classic again this weekend representing the Queensland horses.
“And he’s rising nine,” Gollan told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“It tells you where we’re at at the moment.
“You only have to look at the yearling sales, the overseas horses brought in … where do they all go? They don’t come here to Brisbane.
“When we go away to carnivals and race well with our horses, we’re usually punching well above our weight. And the Sydney stables are getting a lot of these well-bred and well-credentialled youngsters into their yard each year and they’re doing the job.
“We’ve got a bit of work to do and we’ve got to get ourselves going so our horses are ultra-competitive in our own carnival. At the moment, from this year’s results, we’ve got a bit of a way to go.”
A wide barrier (10 of 16) didn’t give Temple Of Boom any favours in the 10,000 last time out and now Gollan is praying for better luck when the Stradbroke Handicap barrier draw is conducted this morning.
“He owes me nothing and it would be amazing [to win the Stradbroke],” Gollan said.
“We understand how hard it is because history is against us with his age and things like that.
“Records are broken every year in one way or another, so who knows? I feel he’s going great and I wouldn’t swap him this year and I said the same last year. He just needs luck in running.”
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