Spirit Of Boom is yet to record a victory at Group 1 level but trainer Tony Gollan is confident that his star gallopers’ drought at the highest level of racing can end when he takes part in the 2013 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot next Saturday.
Spirit Of Boom has had four starts during his spring campaign and he has been consistent as ever; winning the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) and finishing in the placings in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m), Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Yellowglen Stakes (1200m).
The Sequalo entire finished third behind Barakey and Power Princess in the 2012 edition of the Winterbottom Stakes but Gollan told Sky Racing that he believes the five-year-old is heading into the Group 1 event in much better condition this season.
“I’m really looking forward to getting over there,” Gollan said.
“At the end of summer last time I felt he went over there a little bit tired, he had a couple too many races getting there, and he still ran a courageous race.
“He ran really well, and Nash rode him great as well, but I could just see that the horse was starting to feel the effects of a long preparation.
“This time his preparation has been tailored better; I think he is going in two runs less and the three week back from the Salinger into this is ideal.
“I think that this year he is going over there in much better shape and a little bit fresher in the legs.”
Caulfield Cup winning jockey Nicholas Hall has ridden Spirit Of Boom in all four of his starts this preparation and Gollan said that he is delighted to finally have a jockey stick with the two-time Group 1 placegetter.
“Nick has ridden him every run this prep and I think with every ride he has gotten a better understanding of the horse.
“It is a good combination; he has been a horse that we have struggled to keep riders on for one reason or another throughout his career and it is great to have a rider that is clicking with him.”
The 2013 Winterbottom Stakes is set to have a heavy Queensland presence; with Robert Heathcote-trained Buffering set to contest the race after winning the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) in Melbourne.
Gollan has a high opinion of Buffering and believes that the Mossman gelding will be the biggest threat to Spirit Of Boom next Saturday.
“He is in great form Buffering and he has had a couple of race in Melbourne that have really been run to suit him,” Gollan said.
“It is good reward for him because he has been in so many hard run races throughout his career and to come out the other side; his durability is unparalleled.
“He is going there with a tail full of wind and ready to win another one, they think.”
Gollan is chasing his first win at Group 1 level since Temple Of Boom won the 2012 edition of The Galaxy (1100m).