GOLLAN SET TO CONQUER KINGSFORD-SMITH
Wed 26 May 2021
By Glenn Davis
Trainer Tony Gollan still has a lot more mountains to climb in his career and is hopeful of conquering his next challenge in the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Gollan took out his trainers’ licence as a 20-year-old in Toowoomba in 1999 and has since gone on to win seven Brisbane trainers’ premierships and has an eighth in sight.
The late Bruce McLachlan holds the record with 16 Brisbane premierships.
With more than 70 black-type winners under his belt - including 4 Group 1s - Gollan launches a three-pronged attack on the 1300-metre weight-for-age feature with Jonker, Vega One and Outback Barbie.
Spirit Of Boom was one of Gollan’s Group 1 winners and one of his sons, Jonker, is ideally drawn in barrier four to give the Eagle Farm trainer his best hope of another win at the highest level.
Jonker joined Gollan’s stable late last year and in a spectacular stable debut, the five-year-old smashed Takeover Target’s 15-year-old track record for 1200 metres in the Listed Keith Noud Stakes at Doomben last November.
Since then, Jonker finished second in the Group 3 George Moore Stakes at Doomben and won the Magic Millions Sprint at the Gold Coast during the Queensland summer.
Jonker – a Jim Byrne mount - hasn’t raced since finishing a brave third to Eduardo in the Group 1 The Galaxy over 1100 metres at Rosehill in March.
Eduardo franked The Galaxy form by claiming the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 earlier this month, while Jonker missed a return clash with the Sydneysider after suffering bruising to his near hind leg.
“I’m really happy with Jonker and he’s in great order and will be on the speed in this race,” Gollan said.
“His Galaxy run was very good but he had a minor setback after that which made him miss the Doomben 10,000.
“He’s stepping out of his 1200 metre comfort zone in this and I suppose Eagle Farm is a bit of a worry but he’ll run well.”
Gollan would not commit Jonker to a start in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on June 12.
“I desperately want to win a Group 1 with him and if it’s not in this it might be in the spring,” he said.
“I won’t make a decision on the Stradbroke until after he runs on Saturday.”
Vega One produced an eye-catching run when a fast finishing fourth in the Doomben 10,000.
He will be ridden by Jamie Kah while Outback Barbie – a Brenton Avdulla mount - was a last start winner in the Listed Bright Shadow at Doomben on May 15.
“Vega One’s run was very good in the 10,000 and he’s going terrific,” he said.
“He just hit a flat spot in the 10,000 but he finished off the race strongly which sets him up well for this race.
“Outback Barbie’s run to win the Bright Shadow was another terrific effort.”