By Glenn Davis
At the halfway mark of the season, there looks to be no stopping reigning premiers Tony Gollan and Jeff Lloyd.
Gollan is a runaway leader in his bid for a fifth straight Brisbane trainers’ premiership while Lloyd looks to be unstoppable in the Brisbane jockeys’ premiership battle.
Gollan has trained 54 metropolitan winners this season and is 20 wins ahead of nearest rival Rob Heathcote.
Lloyd has booted home 61 winners to lead arch rival Robbie Fradd who has 49.5 wins.
The two South African ex-pat jockeys are close friends but fierce rivals on the track which Lloyd has dominated for the past two seasons.
Gollan is fully aware of the pitfalls awaiting Brisbane trainers in the second half of the season which kicks off at Doomben on Saturday.
“The second half is always the hardest with the Brisbane winter carnival coming up,” Gollan said.
Gollan has claimed the past four Brisbane titles in emphatic style.
He smashed the long-standing record held by the late Bruce McLachlan in his second premiership before breaking his own record in his third premiership victory.
“I’ve won four premierships. I broke Bruce McLachlan’s record in my second year and broke it again the following year but we didn’t have the same luck last year,” Gollan said.
Gollan was the king of the Queensland this summer with his runners earning nearly $1 million on Magic Millions day as well as picking up a $50,000 bonus for being the leading trainer in the Summer Crown race series.
Lloyd, who now manages himself, should have little trouble winning his third straight title providing he remains injury free.
Unlike Gollan, who will be challenged by some of the leading interstate stables during the upcoming Brisbane winter carnival, Lloyd is expected to be sought after by Sydney and Melbourne’s top stables in the winter as well as his regular Brisbane stables.
Lloyd has another strong book of eight rides from nine races at Doomben but none are favourites in early UBET markets.
Gollan has eight runners in seven races spearheaded by Brazen Moss in the ICON Group Open Handicap (1600m) and Of The Day in the Daniel Bullimore Open Handicap (1200m).
Brazen Moss, a Jim Byrne mount, is coming off a close fourth to stablemate Most Important in the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup (1400m) a week ago while Of The Day registered her fifth win in 16 starts with a dominant victory at Doomben on January 20.
Racing Queensland webnews February 2