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Gollan and Rodd reflect on the Doomben 10,000 that launched their careers

12 May 2021

Spirit-Of-Boom.JPGBy Jordan Gerrans 

Standing and chatting on Tuesday morning at the Doomben trials, it was a scene that Michael Rodd and Tony Gollan would have done together on countless occasions a couple of decades ago.

They both came through the Queensland racing ranks at a similar time, Gollan training with his late father Darryl up on the Darling Downs.

While Rodd was working his way through his apprenticeship with Brian Guy on the Gold Coast.

The pair have now come full circle in their distinguished careers.

Rodd moved away to cement himself as one of the best riders in Australia and in Singapore, winning countless big races before returning to Queensland.

While Gollan just wins the Brisbane trainers premiership for fun these days.

It was an especially poignant week for the duo to be together at the Doomben racetrack, the location of a victory that launched Gollan’s training career, alongside and helped by a close mate in Rodd.

With the 2021 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 this week – it is seven years now since Rodd and Gollan combined to claim the time-honoured Queensland race with Spirit Of Boom.

Spirit Of Boom’s post-racing exploits and success have kept the gun galloper's name up in the lights ever since he finished his last preparation.

But, as Gollan declared this week, his training career would not be where it is today if not for that ride from his close mate, Melbourne Cup-winning hoop Rodd.

“To do it with Tony, as well, he is Queensland born and bred, it was very special,” Rodd said.

“We are similar ages and came through around the same time, we have known each other a while.

“For any young trainer to get a feature like that, especially being one of the majors for us in Queensland, it is special.”

As most in the Sunshine State know, Gollan ran one-two in the Doomben 10,000 that year, with fellow gun stable-mate Temple Of Boom less than a length behind.

At the time of the 2014 carnival, the now 39-year-old Rodd was Melbourne-based but returned to Brisbane for the big ones.

“It was pretty special,” Rodd recalls.

“As I was apprenticed up here in Queensland, the 10,000 and the Stradbroke were the two races I grow up wanting to win most of all.

“I won the William Reid on him a few starts before that, that was a buzz to win around Moonee Valley like that as a Group 1.

“To come here to Doomben and win the 10,000, it is very special.”

Spirit-Of-Boom-3.JPGRodd has been a big part of the Gollan stable's story over the years, the premier Brisbane trainer says.

He hopes Rodd can continue to be into the future now that he is back “home in Queensland”, despite being a native New South Welshman.

“It was 1350 metres back then with my two star horses at the time, it really put me on the map and I would not be standing here talking to you guys without them,” Gollan said of the 2014 Doomben 10,000.

“To quinella it with my two favourite horses, it is unbelievable, here in front of all these people.

“I was only new to Brisbane at the time, Queensland is certainly always home.

“It is a race that will always hold special significance in my life and a race I really love.

“It has found its place on the Australian Group 1 calendar and it certainly is a race that kicked off my career.”

Excitement after the winning post is Rodd’s biggest memory all these years on.

“I had a beautiful run in the race and I was able to peel out when I wanted to, obviously it was a really close finish,” he said.

“He was a very honest horse; it was great to get the nod.”

The Gollan team head to the 1200-metre Weight For Age feature on the third Saturday of the TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival this week with a dual approach – Graff and Vega One.

“It is a terrific race; it has had a couple of distance changes over the years and it has found its spot at the start of our carnival and it really flows off the TJ Smith in Sydney,” Gollan said of the Doomben 10,000.

“It is a really strong race and a really good launching pad for horses through to The Everest in the spring.

“It is a proper Group 1 and will probably rate the highest of our Group 1s most years, it is a million bucks now and it is well deserved that prize money.

“It takes a good horse to win this sprint.”

Graff is first-up for the Gollan stable on Saturday in the Doomben 10,000 while champion hoop Glen Boss takes the ride of Vega One.

At the official barrier draw on Tuesday evening at Doomben, the enigmatic Graff drew wide in 11 while Vega One will come from alley three.

The TAB has Vega One as a $14 chance for Saturday, while Graff is $19 – with Eduardo the $2 favourite.

“Vega One has done terrific since the Victory Stakes, I could not be more pleased with him,” Gollan said.

“He is really up to the mark now.

“It has always been by design to have Graff first-up into this race; both horses, they will adapt to the giving ground and both are in very good shape for Saturday.

“I thought Vega One was great in the Victory Stakes the other day, he finished ahead of Trekking, and if there is rain around, he is very good on that sort of ground.”

Click here for full details on the 2021 TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival feature races.