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Queensland horseman Tony Gollan celebrated a huge result in the Kingsford-Smith Cup 2021 at Eagle Farm with his horses Vega One and Jonker running a Group 1 quinella.
The former Toowoomba-based trainer now calls Brisbane home and enjoyed his fifth career Group 1 with an upset in this year’s $700,000 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) thanks to a brilliant ride by champion female hoop Jamie Kah.
“To run one-two in a Group 1 here at home, and this is home now, is just fantastic,” Gollan told Sky Thoroughbred Central after the race.
Kah became the winningest Group 1 female rider in Australian racing history with six, going past Michelle Payne after winning the Kingsford-Smith Cup aboard Gollan’s Lope De Vega five-year-old Vega One.
The galloper broke down badly after his fourth in last year’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) and was sent to Victoria to undergo rehab.
After much work and patience, Vega One returned this April and has been racing in excellent fashion including a second in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) and last start fourth when under a length beaten in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m).
Up to the 1300m, fit fourth-up and on a Good track he was too good for his rivals even after getting checked in a vital stage on the straight.
Kah never panicked despite finding herself behind a wall of horses the final furlong, instead sneaking out into a gap on the outside and flashing home out of nowhere to deny the fellow Gollan-trained Jonker who nearly went all-the-way after leading the field around.
“That’s so good,” Gollan said.
“I’m so proud of these horses.
“He (Vega One) had a major injury last year after the Stradbroke. They rehabbed him really well down in Victoria.
“I didn’t know where to look. I thought Jonker was going to hang on.”
The runner-up, Spirit Of Boom entire Jonker, was having his first run since a third to subsequent Doomben 10,000 champion Eduardo in Sydney’s Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) on March 27 and further franked that form with his brave second.
In third rounding out the Kingsford-Smith Cup trifecta was the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Signore Fox towards the inside, while the Godolphin-raced Trekking ran a strong fourth after looming as a danger late down the outside.
Gollan suggested that they could go around again with Vega One in the $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap back at the track on June 12.
“It was a long-range mission to get here and into the Stradbroke again with him,” he said.
“We’ve had a torrid time with him this prep…so it’s just amazing.
“We were on a knife’s edge whether we were even going to be here this week, with just a million little things going wrong.
“The horse did a great job.”
2021 Kingsford-Smith Cup Results & Finishing Order
|1||9||VEGA ONE||Tony Gollan||Ms Jamie Kah||13||59kg||$12|
|2||10||JONKER||Tony Gollan||Jim Byrne||0.5L||4||59kg||$15|
|3||11||SIGNORE FOX||Peter & Paul Snowden||Ryan Maloney||0.6L||5||59kg||$51|
|4||1||TREKKING||James Cummings||Kerrin McEvoy||0.8L||12||59kg||$8|
|5||6||VICTOREM||Jenny Graham||Mark Du Plessis||1L||2||59kg||$26|
|6||3||SAVATOXL||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Barend Vorster||1.2L||14||59kg||$15|
|7||14||OUTBACK BARBIE||Tony Gollan||Brenton Avdulla||1.4L||9||57kg||$31|
|8||16||DAME GISELLE||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tim Clark||1.7L||6||55kg||$17|
|9||13||SAVATIANO||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||1.8L||8||57kg||$4F|
|10||8||NICCANOVA||Steve Tregea||James Orman||1.9L||11||59kg||$7.50|
|11||5||KEMENTARI||James Cummings||Joshua Parr||2.65L||1||59kg||$19|
|12||2||GYTRASH||Gordon Richards||Jason Collett||2.85L||15||59kg||$6|
|13||12||BLAZEJOWSKI||Greg Eurell||Jye McNeil||3.6L||10||59kg||$51|
|14||7||SO SI BON||Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes||Craig Williams||3.8L||3||59kg||$21|
|15||15||PENNINO||Darryl Hansen||Ms Tiffani Brooker||4.2L||7||57kg||$201|
|4||IMAGING (GB)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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