By Glenn Davis
Trainer Tony Gollan hopes to charge back into premiership contention at Doomben on Saturday with one of his biggest ever representations at a metropolitan Saturday meeting.
Gollan accepted with 19 horses but has scratched four runners on a rain-soaked Doomben which was rated a heavy 9 on Friday.
Gollan has had an unusually slow start to the current season after claiming the past five Brisbane trainers’ premierships.
He is currently in third place with 12 wins, five wins adrift of five-times premiership winner Rob Heathcote.
Gollan will also saddle up Ef Troop in Saturday’s Listed Brown Crowley Stakes in Sydney and is looking for improved weather conditions with the Randwick track also in the heavy range.
Ef Troop was scratched from the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes at Rosehill two weeks ago because of a heavy track.
Ef Troop, who was crowned last season’s champion two-year-old in Queensland, beat two runners home but was less than five lengths behind the James Cummings-trained Encryption in last month’s Group 2 Danehill Stakes at Flemington.
“I scratched Ef Troop on a heavy track two weeks ago in Sydney when we were looking at this race,” Gollan said.
“We’re running out of options with him so he’ll definitely run. He’s been working extremely well on soft tracks down there.”
Gollan has warned of more possible withdrawals at Doomben depending on the track condition.
However, he has given punters a strong pointer by naming Galtero and Shamurt as the best of his stable’s chances.
“We haven’t had much racing of late with all the rain but it would have to be one of my biggest nominations I’ve put in for one meeting,” Gollan said.
“Things have just snowballed with all the race cancellations which is why I’ve accepted with so many but the track will decide how many actually start.
“I think Galtero and Shamurt are my best two chances.”
Galtero will be aiming to stretch his winning sequence to four in the Benchmark 80 Handicap (2000m) while Shamurt is second-up in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1200m).
“I really like Galtero as he’s stepping up to 2000 metres for the first time and I think he’s got the makings of a good stayer,” Gollan said.
“He hasn’t raced for three weeks since winning over a mile at Doomben but that won’t worry him and I don’t think the track will be a concern.
“Shamurt has improved a lot since her first-up run and the wet track should suit her.
“She had a torrid run first-up at the Sunshine Coast when she was trapped wide so I’m expecting a big improvement this time.”
Racing Queensland webnews October 19