Queensland trainer Tony Gollan is celebrating his first Group 1 win after Temple Of Boom took out the $350,000 The James Boag Galaxy (1100m) at Randwick today.
And boom New Zealand jockey James McDonald capped off an outstanding day in the saddle recording his first Group 1 win on Australian soil and his fourth win for the day, with a first class ride on the Toowoomba sprinter.
Gollan is steadily moving up the trainers ranks and has gradually brought Temple Of Boom up through the grades with Group 3 and Group 2 wins in Melbourne during the Spring.
A trip to Melbourne at the beginning of this campaign failed to produce any results in the Group 1 $750,000 Coolmore Lightning Stakes (1000m) and the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
But Gollan has been able to turn his form around after also failing to impress when eighth to Zaratone in the Group 3 $125,000 Sebring Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on April 7.
“It’s unbelievable at the moment, I’m a little bit speechless,” said an excited Gollan.
“We had him a little soft a couple of weeks ago, we never panicked, we stuck to our plan, we come here today, the track dried out. That’s the way it went.”
“He rode him great today, a lot closer and the horse done the job like he has done for me so many times.”
McDonald has built up a good association with Temple of Boom having won on him in Melbourne twice and Gollan feels confident in him riding his own race on the five year old.
“My instructions are very easy, I don’t have to tell him anything, It takes a hell of a lot of pressure off me. This is as good as it gets so far,” he said.
McDonald had Temple Of Boom travelling midfield with Kathy O’Hara setting up a swift pace out in front on Zaratone and waited until well into the straight before squeezing in between runners and making his winning move.
Temple of Boom ($15) moved away to win comfortably by one length from Nobby Snip ($5) who was strong to line with Ladys Angel ($14) a half head away in third spot.
McDonald is making a huge impression and carried his New Zealand Group 1 winning form to Sydney after winning three majors over the Auckland Cup carnival including the New Zealand Derby on Silent Achiever.
“I’ve only been beaten on him once and he’s been a fantastic horse to me and I actually can’t be believe I’ve just won a Group 1 in Sydney,” McDonald said.
“It’s a place I’ve always wanted to ride and what a day its been.”
McDonald is seriously thinking of setting up base in Sydney in the near future and if he keeps displaying his winning skills as he did today, will be well sought after.
“Hopefully one day. We’ve still got a chance in the last, we’ll get that one over and done with and see how we go tonight.”
Favourite Bel Sprinter ($4) put himself out of the race early when he bungled the start, giving the rest of the field three to four lengths head start, but did make up some ground in the straight.