Top racing combination eyes more glory
WITH his successful record at Bundamba, leading trainer Tony Gollan has the right horses and jockeys to chase another Ipswich Cup Day double at Bundamba on Saturday.
He just needs a bit of luck to overcome the tough barrier 11 draws in both feature races.
After winning last year's Ipswich Cup with Brave Ali and savouring victory with Eye Liner Stakes winner Alma's Fury, Gollan was Hi Son and Gundy Spirit running this year.
Five-year-old colt Hi Son is being ridden by top hoop Jim Byrne in Saturday's $175,000 Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m).
Another jockey who wins regularly at Ipswich, Tim Bell, is on board four-year-old gelding Gundy Spirit in the $175,000 City of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes (1350m).
Gollan, who leads the Ipswich Trainers Premiership with 25 winners, was yesterday upbeat about their prospects.
"That (barrier 11 for both) will make it a bit trickier,'' Gollan said.
"But we've got two good riders on them. They know the horses quite well. They both know their way around Ipswich.
"It's a track that trainer-rider (combinations) have all had good success over the years.''
Gollan said both horses had trialled well for Saturday's conditions.
"They have sort of been going all carnival and Ipswich on Saturday is probably where they are at,'' he said.
"They are really nice listed grade horses. They both find themselves well in the weights.
"They have both got good solid Queensland riders.
"On these big days at Ipswich, it's always hard to win races.
"If we get our share of luck we've got the right horses and I think we can get the job done.''
The Eagle Farm-based trainer expected Hi Son to find a spot near the lead but not the whole way like Brave Ali did in last year's Cup.
"Hi Son has had a bit of an up and down prep with the carnival,'' Gollan said.
"He's a black-type placegetter in the past but off 54.5kg, he's well in a race like this.
"I believe he is going to really hit his straps at this stage of the carnival.''
Gundy Spirit won at Doomben before the winter carnival started and according to Gollan "has been around about the money in group races''.
Gundy Spirit ran third in the Prime Minister's Cup over 1400m at the Gold Coast in April.
"His work has been great. He's one of those lovely horses on the way up. He's won open company and he's down low in the weights (54kg).
"Usually these sprints are won by that emerging-type horse. Last year was a bit different with Alma's Fury.
"He (Gundy Spirit) has got the right turn of foot for a race like this.
"He's very quick off the corner.
"And he's a two-time winner at the track, which is always important.
"Horses that can get around Ipswich is a big advantage.''
Yesterday's Cup field was trimmed to 13 runners after 16 nominated on Tuesday.
Top weight is Banca Mo, being ridden by Bell at 59kg.
The Eye Liner Stakes field features 11 runners after fancied Kiwi hope Sacred Star withdrew yesterday being allocated 60kg.
New top weight is Group one winner Smokin' Joey (59.5kg), who is being ridden by star jockey Damian Browne.