Chris Waller-trained Hoylonny will compete for the first time as a gelding when he returns to the races in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Hoylonny performed inconsistently during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival; finishing second behind Lights Of Heaven in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) before beating home just a single runner in the Listed Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m) at Royal Randwick and the Listed Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Waller was disappointed with the way the son of Lonhro performed at the end of his campaign and made the unusual decision to geld the five-year-old in an attempt to revive his racing career.
“He has been gelded for a different reason really,” Waller said on his website.
“He is not big and heavy, which is quiet option the case, and he doesn’t have behavioral problems but this horse has been a bit lethargic.
“Hopefully it’s going to give him a little more aggression.”
Hoylonny recorded an impressive victory in a barrier trial over 1030 metres at Rosehill Gardens on September 17 and Waller said that he would not be surprised if the Group 3 placegetter produced a big run first-up this weekend.
“He trialed well ten days ago and can run well fresh so look to see him getting home late on the rails with a classic Jimmy Cassidy ride,” Waller said.
“He could be one for an upset.”
Hoylonny will need to be at his best to win the Shannon Stakes with a number of promising gallopers included in the acceptances for the race.
The Greg Eurell-trained duo of Your Honour and Hosting has impressed this preparation and have both been well backed in the lead-up to the race.
Hosting started his preparation with a win over Your Honour in the Le Pine Funerals Handicap (1200m) at Sandown before going on to win the Tab.Com.Au Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill, while Your Honour franked that form by finishing third behind Riva De Lago and Solzhenitsyn in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m).
Other interesting Shannon Stakes runners include: Peter Moody-trained High Esteem, Brisbane Mayor’s Cup runner-up Transporter and veteran gelding Centennial Park.