Trainer Tony Gollan is chasing a Group 1 victory with Alma’s Fury during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and he revealed this morning that the talented gelding will be set for the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m).
Alma’s Fury made his racing debut for Gollan, after previously being prepared by Paul Murray, with a seventh place finish in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on May 31 and he scored a narrow win over the talented Masthead in the Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich on June 14 before ending his campaign with a dominant victory in the Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) at the Sunshine Coast on June 28.
Gollan elected to send Alma’s Fury to the spelling paddock after his Glasshouse Handicap win, but the Refuse To Bend gelding will not be away from the stable for like and will return to begin preparations for the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on September 13, the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield on September 28 and the Toorak Handicap at the same venue on October 11.
“Alma’s Fury is in the spelling paddock for a couple of weeks,” Gollan told AAP.
“He only had a short campaign this time so we will freshen him up and give him some exercise on the water walker.
“He is going to be hard to place in Brisbane for a while; his rating has gone right back up again and if I ran him in Saturday’s Tatt’s Mile he would get 61 kilograms.
“Even I couldn’t whinge about that weight, but not many horses can win with it.
“I think that he is up to that class on horse (at Group 1 level) and he is going to get into those races with 53 or 54 kilograms.
“He is a Group 2 winner in Sydney and I think he is racing as well as ever.
“Horses which race well in our winter seem to always race well in Melbourne during the spring and there is no reason Alma’s Fury should be any different.”
Alma’s Fury won the 2013 Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) in Sydney, but the rising seven-year-old has failed to fire in four opportunities at Group 1 level.
He made his Group 1 debut with a 9th place finish in the 2010 edition of the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and he finished at the tail of the field in the Queensland Derby (2400m) the following year before returning to the highest level of racing as an older horse with a sixth place finish in the 2013 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and a credible performance in the Doncaster Mile (1600m).