By Glenn Davis
Toowoomba trainer Matt Kropp is hopeful he can stem the Tony Gollan tide when Atouchmore lines up in the final leg of the RQ Summer Provincial Sprinters Series at Dalby on Wednesday.
Three legs of the Summer Provincial Sprinters Series were held previously at the Gold Coast, Toowoomba and Sunshine Coast.
The $125,000 final will be run over 1300 metres at Eagle Farm on Saturday week.
Atouchmore is coming off a win in last month’s Roma Cup which gave Kropp his third victory in the prestigious country feature.
Happy Hooves, a last start second to the Les Kelly-trained Elixir at the Gold Coast on November 27, will represent the Gollan stable in the final heat of the RQ Summer Provincial Sprinters Series.
Six-year-old Happy Hooves has started 29 times for four wins and ten placings while Atouchmore is the same age but has started 38 times for eight wins and 14 placings.
Gollan has dominated Brisbane’s metropolitan racing winning the Brisbane trainers’ premiership for the past six years and has been a major player in the summer carnival over the past decade.
However, Gollan has not been afraid to send his horses wherever he thinks they are best placed to win at provincial and country tracks.
Last month he took two horses to Kilcoy where he won with Lieutenant in a Maiden Handicap while Godfather’s Girl took out the feature sprint, the final of the Cannonball Series.
He also notched up a double at Beaudesert on December 4 with Sizzling Power and Say Haya.
Kropp gave Atouchmore a freshen up following his Roma Cup victory and expects him to be competitive on his home track.
“I’ve got stables at Dalby and Toowoomba and Atouchmore does most of his work at Dalby but does go in to Toowoomba sometimes,” Kropp said.
“He’s more a miler than a sprinter but I gave him a freshen up after the Roma Cup so he should be competitive.
“There’s not much for him around the mile mark at the moment so I set him for this series and hopefully he’ll be there on Saturday week at Eagle Farm.”
Atouchmore received a mammoth 61.5kgs but will carry three kilos less for heavyweight apprentice Joshua Morrow.
“Joshua won on Tisani Tomso on Roma Cup day and because he’s a heavyweight rider we won’t be burdened by dead weight,” Kropp said.
Racing Queensland webnews December 10