Holler has had just one barrier trial since returning from the spelling paddock, but assistant trainer Darren Beadman is confident that the three-year-old is forward enough to win the 2016 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Holler made a slow start to his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign and he failed to beat home a runner in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 12, but he produced improved performances to finish second in both the More Than Ready At Vinery Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 30 and the Listed Gothic Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 17 before he led from start to finish to take out the Group 3 Red Anchor Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
The Commands colt has made just one public appearance since his Red Anchor Stakes victory, but he is happy with the fitness levels of the three-year-old and believes that he is suited by the conditions of the 2016 Australia Stakes.
“He has settled into Melbourne well and he is favoured by the Melbourne surroundings,” O’Shea said.
“He has performed well down there and Mahuta franked that form over the Gold Coast Carnival.
“His last run was at the back end of October, so there is still a good amount of residual fitness there.
“John only gave him the one easy trial, but he is forward enough and you know that he will get around the Valley.
“1200 metres will be ideal.”
Holler led from start to finish when he produced the best performance of his career to date in the Red Anchor Stakes and Beadman admits that the three-year-old always has to be ridden as an on-pace runner, but he is unsure whether jockey Craig Williams will be able to take up the running from the likes of Sirbible in the Australia Stakes.
“He is definitely an on-speed runner,” Beadman said.
“When he raced at Moonee Valley when he won it was after a quick back-up and he was a very fit horse, so James could use him both ends.
“He was dominant that day.”
Holler is currently available at 2016 Australia Stakes odds of $8 with Ladbrokes and he is on the third line of betting behind market mover Rebel Dane ($3.30) and the in-form Durendal ($7), while Hucklebuck ($8.50), Trust In A Gust ($9), Mourinho ($9) and Rageese ($9) are also available at single-figure odds.