Trainer Tony Gollan does not believe that the unique Moonee Valley track will pose a problem for in-form sprinter Spirit Of Boom when he contests the 2014 William Reid Stakes (1200m) on Friday night.
Spirit Of Boom beat home just a single runner in the 2013 William Reid Stakes, his only past appearance at Moonee Valley, but Gollan told Racing Ahead that he believes the Sequalo entire is a much better horse this preparation following his second place finishes in both the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
“I think that the horse is a different horse to what he was last year,” Gollan said.
“He was drawn wide and was sucked three deep outside Black Caviar, which is not a great spot to be in the run.
“He was racing quiet aggressively last autumn and this time he has been really bomb-proof for his riders.
“I won’t know until we see the complete make-up of the field, but I am confident that if he can get the right run in transit then Moonee Valley shouldn’t pose too many problems for him.”
Spirit Of Boom was unable to breakthrough for his maiden win at Group 1 level in the Oakleigh Plate and the Newmarket Handicap, but Gollan could not have been happier with his performances behind Lankan Rupee – who is currently rated the best sprinter in the world.
Gollan said that Spirit Of Boom has trained on well following the Newmarket Handicap and is confident that he will produce another strong effort in the William Reid Stakes this afternoon.
“He has progressed really well,” Gollan said.
“I don’t know if he is better than what he was Newmarket day, but he is certainly no worse.
“He has trained on terrific and the horse will present an absolute picture on Friday night.
“He has just been really good all prep; he is nice and settled in his work and just doing everything that we ask of him.
“In seasons gone by, being a stallion, he could be a bit aggressive in his work, but this preparation he has been absolutely faultless.
“He had his final hit out at Flemington this morning and he was spot-on.”
Spirit Of Boom is set to be retired at the end of the 2013/2014 racing season and Gollan is desperate to win a Group 1 with the six-year-old before he begins a career at stud, but is unsure where his star galloper will have his next race start.
There are a number of Group 1 races on offer during the 2014 Queensland Winter Racing Carnival, but Gollan is eyeing another contest with Lankan Rupee and the other leading sprinters in Australia in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
“The problem with the winter carnival in Queensland is that he is a real wet-tracker and that is why we are making hay while the sun shines down in Victoria,” Gollan said.
“It is hard just to plan everything to the winter in Queensland because if we get a wet winter that will just ruin his whole preparation.
“We will see how he comes through this run.
“I would love to have a go at the T.J. Smith.
“I don’t think there is much between the top half a dozen sprinters and I think that our bloke is amongst it.
“If he comes through this run good, then I would love to have a go at Randwick.”
Gollan is chasing his first win at Group 1 level since he took out the 2012 edition of The Galaxy (1100m) with Temple Of Boom.