Gollan Hoping For Some Rain Before The Challenge Stakes

By: Thomas Hackett
March 12th, 2014

Leading Brisbane trainer is hoping that there will be some rain in Sydney before Temple Of Boom returns to the races in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Temple Of Boom is chasing his first race win since he took out the 2012 edition of The Galaxy.

Temple Of Boom is chasing his first race win since he took out the 2012 edition of The Galaxy. Photo by: Steve Hart

Temple Of Boom has produced his best form on rain affected surfaces, scoring five wins and four placings from eleven starts on soft or heavy tracks, and Gollan believes that the son of Piccolo will be competitive against the strong Challenge Stakes field, if there is a bit of give in the Royal Randwick track.

“We want the Sydney wet weather to stay on for him; he loves a soft track,” Gollan told AAP.

“We’ve got a good jockey, a horse that’s in great shape and provided we can get some sting out of the ground, he’ll run really well.”

Temple Of Boom has not been seen at the races since he finished his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with an impressive fifth behind Buffering in the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) and has not had any public barrier trials.

The veteran gelding has not won first-up since he took out the 2010 edition of the Mick Dittman Plate (1000m) at Eagle Farm, but Gollan has been happy with the preparation of the Group 1 winner and believes he is fairly forward for his return to racing.

“The horse has had a great preparation and build up,” Gollan said.

“He’s had a couple of jump-outs at Eagle Farm, we’ve had use of the course proper another three or four times so he’s going there with a really good fitness base under him.”

Temple Of Boom is not the only Group 1 winner that is set to resume in the Challenge Stakes this weekend; with fellow Queenslander Buffering to have his third career start in Sydney in the Group 2 event.

Black Caviar Lightning Stakes winner Snitzerland, 2013 The Galaxy winner Bel Sprinter and promising Darley sprinter Sessions will also be included in the final acceptances for the Challenge Stakes, but Gollan said he is not surprised about the quality of the field.

“This is a typical weight-for-age sprint; it’s a Group Two event but it’s really a Group One race,” Gollan said.

“It’s what we expected the race to be like and we were under no illusions as to what we were going to run into.”

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