Consistent sprinter Spirit Of Boom broke through for his maiden victory at Group 1 level with a narrow win in the 2014 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley tonight.
Spirit Of Boom stormed home down the outside of the William Reid Stakes field and hit the line with 25 metres left to run, but Fontelina made a late charge and looked as though he may have stolen the win.
The initial photo made it look as though Fontelina had got his nose down at the right time, but the judge ruled that Spirit Of Boom had crossed the line first; much to the delight of trainer Tony Gollan.
Spirit Of Boom was denied a Group 1 win by Lankan Rupee in both the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 22 and Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 8 and Gollan was delighted that his star galloper has claimed a well-deserved win at the highest level of racing.
“Talk about the highs and low; I thought that we won on the line and then I thought that we got beat, but now we have won,” Gollan said after the race.
“He has given us an amazing ride this horse and he is very deserving to have won a Group 1.
“I am just absolutely relieved.
“This is my second Group 1 as a trainer and I am wrapped to have won it here.”
Gollan revealed earlier this year that Spirit Of Boom would be retired at the end of the racing season, but confirmed that the son of Sequalo would receive another opportunity at Group 1 level in the T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
“He is a very tough stallion; he has been racing now for many seasons and he enjoys his racing,” Gollan said.
“We will get him over this run and head to Sydney for a crack at the T.J.”
Michael Rodd was riding Spirit Of Boom in a race for just the third time, but was delighted to record a major race win for Gollan, who he has been associated with for his entire racing career.
The leading Melbourne jockey admitted that he thought he may have been beaten by Fontelina on the line and was clearly relieved that his aggressive ride on the tough six-year-old had paid off in the William Reid Stakes.
“I can’t tell you how much this means to me,” Rodd said after the race.
“I’ve known Tony since I was a little kid.
“This horse has been a bridesmaid for so long and I went past the post and I actually thought I got done.
“It is just a fantastic feeling and the horse doesn’t like to get to the front too soon, but he did it tonight.
“He is a stallion, he is a Group 1 winner now and this is what they have been chasing.”
The win was Gollan’s second victory at Group 1 level after he took out the 2012 edition of The Galaxy (1100m) with Temple Of Boom – a half-brother to Spirit Of Boom.