There aren’t too many trainers and owners happy about seeing Black Piranha entered for the Ramornie Handicap at Grafton on Thursday, however there is one man who was delighted with the acceptance.
On the surface it may seem weird that Tony Gollan would like to see such a top class rival for his charger Temple Of Boom, however he does have his benefits.
With Black Piranha in the field he immediately picks up the top weight of 61kg.
Given how high he is rated that has significantly pushed down the weight Temple Of Boom will have to carry.
In fact Gollan’s runner has gone from a potential top weight to enjoying a 6.5kg advantage.
“Black Piranha is a very good horse … he’s won two Stradbrokes,” Gollan said.
“But in a way, him being in the race has opened the door for a horse like Temple Of Boom.
“Originally I thought my horse may have been weighted out of it but with Black Piranha there it sets the Ramornie up as a very intriguing race.”
Gollan has never had a starter at Grafton and he’s hoping he can get on the board immediately, Temple Of Boom’s chances increased with the services of top bush jock Greg Ryan.
“It’s a bit of a left-field booking because Greg has never ridden for me before,” Gollan said.
“But he is obviously one of the leading riders on country New South Wales tracks so I’m happy to have him on.”
Temple Of Boom originally shot to prominence after scoring a big win during the 2010 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
He’s run well in two Brisbane starts this prep however he hasn’t had the right set of circumstances to show his absolute best.
“He was caught three-deep on the speed in the Healy Stakes so it was a really good run,” he said.
“It was no fault of Corey’s … the horse was devoid of luck.”
Gollan has a mountain of confidence coming off the back of his most recent win on the Gold Coast at the start of this year.
“When he won the Magic Millions Sprint this year, Atomic Force finished third and he went on to win the (Group One) Galaxy,” he said.
The barrier draw further helped his chances in Grafton coming up prime with gate three.
It’s a hugely important race with the first few events of the spring carnival down in Melbourne now just around the corner.
Black Piranha will take up a spot in the pack from gate seven while the other top contender Motspur will also get a good run from five.
The Darley chance of Jerezana has also come out well with barrier six.
Starting from the far outside will be Here De Angels, it’s probably not all bad for the Wendy Roche trained runner though because he’ll spend less time in the stalls and therefore there is less time for him to show his notoriously bad gate manners.