By Glenn Davis
The home ground advantage looks set to continue the dominance of local trainers in the Weetwood Handicap at Clifford Park in Toowoomba on Saturday.
Canberra trainer Nick Oliver was the last “outsider” to claim the Listed feature when Voice Commander was successful in 2009.
Since then the Weetwood has been won by Downs trainers Norm Hilton (Poor Judge 2010,) Peter Sexton (Lucky Leak 2011), Michael Nolan (Miss Imagica 2012-13), Kevin Kemp (Typhoon Red 2014), Don Baker (Mr Favulous 2015) and Tony Sears (Choice Bro 2016).
Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie joined the group last year when Col ‘N’ Lil and the Nolan-trained Jumbo Prince created history with the first Weetwood dead-heat.
Local trainers again make up half the 14-horse field in the famous 1200-metre sprint.
Former Toowoomba boy Tony Gollan has never won the Weetwood but has three bullets in the barrel ready to fire for his first victory as Brisbane’s premier trainer.
Gollan has dreamt of winning the Weetwood since he first started training in Toowoomba and is hopeful of claiming his first win as an “outsider”.
Gollan had no luck in the barrier draw with Hi I’m Back, who drew barrier 18, Sheiswhatsheis (11) and Raido (9).
Hi I’m Back made his comeback finishing second to the Currie-trained Amanaat at Doomben on March 24 while Sheiswhatsheis is having her first start since failing in the Listed Bernborough Handicap at Doomben in December.
Raido surprised Gollan with his last start win in the Listed Goldmarket Handicap at the Gold Coast two weeks ago.
“Sheiswhatsheis trialled well a few weeks ago and I’m hoping to get her up to 1600 metres soon,” Gollan said.
“This is a nice race for her to start off in and I’m pleased with the way she’s going.”
Gollan was delighted with Hi I’m Back’s last appearance when runner-up to Amanaat.
“We gave him a freshened up before his last run when he was forced to race three wide without cover,” he said.
“It was a terrific effort and he was a bit unlucky not to win.
“Raido likes to get back and run on like he did when he won at the Gold Coast and I think the Toowoomba track will suit him.
“Looking at the Weetwood field there looks to be a lot of tempo in the race which will suit him.”
Local star Mr Marbellouz, who is chasing his fifth straight win, failed to make the field and is second emergency with barrier one.
Racing Queensland webnews April 4