By Glenn Davis
Talented filly Epaumada will be on trial for a trip across the ditch for New Zealand’s Karaka Million when she attempts to maintain her unbeaten record at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Trainer Tony Gollan will have an important decision to make if Epaumada, a $NZ165,000 buy at the Karaka sales, wins or races well in the QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap (1200m).
The daughter of Epaulette faces a steep class rise after winning on debut in a two-year-old maiden at Gatton on January 8 but Gollan is confident she’s up to the task in the city.
Gollan collected a $50,000 cash prize after being crowned leading trainer for the Summer Series for a second successive year this summer.
Gollan believes Epaumada has a bright future but will delay any decision about the $NZ 1 million Karaka Million, to be run at Ellerslie in Auckland on January 26, until after her Eagle Farm performance.
“It’s a logistical nightmare for her to get to New Zealand and she’ll need to win and pull up well to go,” Gollan said.
“She’s very promising and is an improving filly but she'll need to win and get on a plane to Sydney by Monday night.
“She’s got a long career ahead of her but you’ve got to take opportunities as they come along.”
Gollan was out of luck at last week’s Magic Millions at the Gold Coast and will have a smaller stable representation than normal at Eagle Farm with only five runners in three races.
As well as Epaumada, Gollan had three runners, My Girl Hayley, Of The Day and Jetsonic in the Class Six Plate (1200m) and Brains in the Benchmark 80 Handicap (1400m).
Gollan believes Epaumada is the pick of his stable’s runners and is unsure if he’ll run Of The Day following her eighth to Invincibella in the Magic Millions Fillies & Mares.
“She’s finally drawn a good gate as she hasn’t drawn well all preparation,” he said.
“She’s just behind them at Stakes level but backing-up is a bit foreign to her and I might not run her yet.”
Gollan has had big numbers at each meeting over the summer but most have now gone out for a break.
“We had a really good summer carnival with some good horses to come out of it,” Gollan said.
“A lot have gone for a break and will come back for the winter carnival.”
Racing Queensland webnews January 18