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Queensland horseman Tony Gollan is gearing up for his first ever Festival of Perth Racing ready to see his talented sprinter Spirit Of Boom take on the undefeated local champion Barakey in the 2012 Winterbottom Stakes.
One of two Group 1 features lighting up WA’s Ascot Racecourse this weekend for Super Saturday along with the 2012 Railway Stakes, the $500,000 Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) entries are down to 14 hopefuls with early odds led by star five-year-old Barakey after their 11th win from as many career starts.
A number of interstate raiders will make the trip West to take on Jim Taylor’s star in the Winterbottom Stakes 2012 however including the Brisbane-trained duo of Buffering and Spirit Of Boom.
Rated about a $14 chance in the pre-field Winterbottom Stakes odds at bookies around the country Sequalo five-year-old Spirit Of Boom is coming off a big spring campaign in Melbourne where their best result was a close second in the Group 2 Yellowglen Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby Day.
Gollan is hoping his stallion can be more competitive on the weekend after their disappointing last start seventh when beaten over six lengths by Mental in the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) on November 10.
“In the Patinack he pulled too hard then hung in against the rail which was the worst part of the track,” Gollan explained.
The trainer is now hoping for a good draw for Spirit Of Boom for the weekend when Nash Rawiller, out for his maiden Group 1 win for the season, takes the mount.
“I’d like him to draw a barrier between four and seven in the Winterbottom,” Gollan said.
“He’s the type of horse who needs to switch off with a bit of cover and hit the line on a dry track.
“Even though he’s raced well down the straight at Flemington, I think he’s a better horse around a turn.”
Spirit Of Boom was ridden by Michael Rodd last time out but Rawiller was aboard the horse for their unlucky second in the Yellowglen Stakes.
“Hopefully he can go one better on him (on Saturday),” Gollan said.
Other notable hopefuls heading towards the Winterbottom on Saturday include last-start winner at the track by seven lengths Travinator out for their fifth victory on the trot, Gai Waterhouse’s Sydney mare Hallowell Belle who ran a brave third in the Patinack Farm Classic and the Simon Miller-trained Power Princess who was third in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes at Morpehttville behind Black Caviar back in April.
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