Queensland Oaks: Tony Gollan hopes to keep Group 1 momentum going

The boom times are back for Tony Gollan and the in-form trainer thinks he can ride the crest of a Group 1 winning wave to spring a Queensland Oaks surprise.

Gollan hadn’t won a Group 1 in almost seven years – since the halcyon days of Spirit Of Boom and Temple Of Boom – but that drought has now been snapped in sensational style.

After claiming the Coolmore Classic with Krone at Rosehill in March, Gollan savoured a famous hometown Group 1 win when scoring the Kingsford-Smith Cup after Jamie Kah produced a magic ride on Vega One at Eagle Farm last Saturday.

Vega One is the $5 favourite for Saturday’s week’s Stradbroke Handicap, with Rachel King to ride in a bid to give Gollan his first Stradbroke win.

But in the meantime, Gollan feels his chances of making it Group 1s in consecutive weeks should not be undersold with $26 Queensland Oaks contender Good Soize.

Gollan has spoken of the filly in glowing terms as an Oaks contender for the entire preparation, but there were troubled waters in the Group 2 The Roses last start when the daughter of Cox Plate winner Adelaide finished 11th and beaten more than seven lengths.

But Gollan insists it was a forget run and Queensland’s premier trainer will go to Eagle Farm with confidence on Saturday.

Tony Gollan celebrates last week’s Kingsford-Smith Cup success with Jamie Kah. Picture: Trackside PhotographySource:Supplied

He also thinks the ace up his sleeve is that Good Soize is unbeaten from one run at Eagle Farm and he feels she clearly handles the unique track while some other Oaks rivals may not.

“I feel nervous with her because I have always thought she was an Oaks filly – so I am either going to be 100 per cent right or I am going to be unequivocally wrong,” Gollan said.

“She has won on the track and I am big on horses who perform at Eagle Farm and that formula just does not let you down, it’s a very different surface and circuit.

“If we go back to her run in The Bracelet, her run was very, very good.

“In The Roses from barrier five she somehow got shunted three-deep from the 1100m and then from the 600m to home she was going four, five, six-deep around the corner.

“We just got caught in a position where we were bullied by other riders and horses and it just didn’t suit our filly.

“We don’t need to be taking off early in the Oaks and making a big sweeping run, we need to sit back and be patient and poke up behind them and wait until we straighten and then run on.”

To win his third Group 1 in as many months, Gollan must beat a wave of six Chris Waller-trained fillies plus the likes of Duais and Bargain, who appear to be the benchmark for three-year-old staying fillies.

Regardless, Gollan is delighted to be having a golden Group 1 run after a long time where he often wondered where his next win at racing’s elite level might come from.

Spirit Of Boom (right) beats stablemate Temple Of Boom in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 in 2014. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

But he always knew the Group 1 success of his Boom Brothers would be hard to replicate and it could take a while to add more Group 1s to his trophy cabinet.

“Hell yeah, at times I got a bit frustrated that it was taking me a while to win more Group 1s,” Gollan says.

“But I was probably under no illusions when I had Spirit Of Boom and Temple Of Boom about how lucky I was.

“They were half-brothers and I could go to every carnival with them around the country and they would always be competitive.

“It’s just taken time to find good horses again.

“With Queensland stables, we don’t as a rule get an influx of a bulk of high-quality yearlings.

“The last couple of months is just a reward for our business and our clients for all the work we have been putting in since I first moved to Brisbane.

“We have gone through a lot in Queensland, we have had track renovations, we have had different surfaces, a reduction in prizemoney for a while and a change in training centres.

“But I feel this winter carnival has been a really positive one and it’s good to get back on the (Group 1) board in my home state.”

Originally published asBoom times back as Gollan eyes Oaks blowout

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