Trainer John O’Shea expects vast improvement from Holler when he runs in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Holler is a Group 1 winner of the $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival but failed to beat a runner home at his first Spring Carnival run when tenth to Rebel Dane in the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 21.
“He just needed to blow out the cobwebs the other day at Moonee Valley,” O’Shea said.
“Firmish ground will also help and I’m looking for significant improvement.”
The Manikato Stakes was Holler’s first run after returning from a trip to England where he ran seventh of nine behind Twilight Son in the Group 1 £600,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) at Royal Ascot on June 18.
Holler has drawn the outside barrier in the twelve horse Darley Classic field but O’Shea thinks that will be an advantage to the speedy four year old who can head towards the grandstand side for his run down the Flemington straight where most the winners have come in the straight races over the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“He’s drawn perfectly out wide on the straight course,” O’Shea said.
“I think getting a bit of space is a big thing for him because he likes to gallop.”
James McDonald has ridden Holler on seven previous occasions for three of his four wins and is back on board the Commands stallion in the Darley Classic.
Following his poor performance in the Manikato Stakes, bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have Holler marked as one of the outsiders of the field at $26 alongside of the Lindsay Park trained Keen Array with Kiwi five year old Turn Me Loose the only runner at longer odds in the betting at $31
The Team Hawkes trained Our Boy Malachi has firmed in to be the clear cut favourite for the Darley Classic at $4.50 in front on multiple Group 1 winner Lankan Rupee at $6.50 and Newmarket Handicap winner The Quarterback and Fell Swoop at $7.