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Dougall keen to start Go Wandji again despite rain forecast

20 July 2022

By Glenn Davis

Toowoomba trainer Tom Dougall says he’s too scared to look up when star sprinter Go Wandji last spelled and will press on – weather permitting – with his next start at Doomben on Saturday.

Go Wandji has developed a cult-like following since he won on debut at Dalby in February last year and has won seven times and placed on another three occasions from 10 starts.

The rising five-year-old will again be ridden by Larry Cassidy when he lines up in the Class 6 Handicap over 1350 metres.

“He’s running at this stage unless we get too much rain,” Dougall said.

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Dougall was relieved when Go Wandji was on his best behaviour last start when he romped home by two lengths at Eagle Farm on June 29.

It was his first run since winning at Doomben on April 9.

He was a late scratching in between those runs at Eagle Farm when he became fractious in the barriers and suffered a minor leg abrasion after getting his leg caught over the rear petition.

Stewards ordered Go Wandji needed a barrier certificate before he could race again, which required a lot of work from Dougall.

“A lot of people think he won his last start at Eagle Farm first-up but he had been in work all the time between runs as we had to do a lot of work with him to rectify his barrier behaviour,” Dougall said.

A son of Wandjina, Go Wandji, was touted as a possible contender for the major sprints during the recent winter carnival but his low rating and his troublesome barrier behaviour prevented him featuring.

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Dougall has bided his time with Go Wandji and has been forced to rethink a possible Sydney trip during the spring.

“We were looking at going to Sydney with him for the spring but we’re out of whack with that now with the rain we’ve had in the winter,” Dougall said.

“I’m too scared to look up his diary to see when he last had a spell.

“But, we’ll keep racing him until he tells us he’s looking for the paddock.”

Dougall acknowledged he would have been under increasing pressure if Go Wandji had a big ownership team.

He is thankful his father, John, who bought Go Wandji as a yearling, still owns him after knocking back offers to sell him early in his career.

“Things happen for a reason and we’d be under a lot of pressure if there was a large group who owned him,” he said.

“Something good will come out of all this one day.”

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