The in-form Whiskey Allround continues to firm in the betting and the four year old is now equal favourite with topweight Big Money in the Listed $175,000 Garrards Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
The Tony Gollan trained Whiskey Allround is unbeaten from three starts this campaign and has come in for some solid early support since the fields were released on Wednesday.
The former smart two year old opened at $4.40 and has steadily firmed into $3.60 with Ladbrokes.com.au while opening favourite Big Money has eased from $3 to$3.60.
Whiskey Allround’s stablemate Someday has remained steady at $7 while the Kelly Schweida trained Cape Kidnappers has eased dramatically from $5.50 to $7.50.
After winning three juvenile races as a two year old plus a second in the Group 2 $200,000 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Carnival, Whiskey Allround failed to reproduce that form during his three year old season.
But after a decent spell Gollan has the All Bar One gelding firing on all cylinders, working his way up through the grades with wins at Ipswich and Doomben before his last win in a 1200m Class 6 with 57.5kg at Doomben on December 6.
“He was awful in the winter so we gave him a long spell,” Gollan told the Sportsman.
“Just chucked him out in the back paddock with the cows.”
“When he came back he was far more mature animal and has just been a better horse.”
“He has a bit of confidence under his belt and he is really firing.”
Whiskey Allround drops to 54kg and Tim Bell should have no trouble setting the pace again from barrier two after the pair led all the way for their latest Doomben win.
“He looks the leader and gets his chance to do it,” Gollan said.
Gollan had also nominated Whiskey Allround for the 1200m $65,000 XXXX Gold Open Handicap but thought the time was right test the in-form sprinter over the longer 1350m journey in the Lough Neagh Stakes.
“We made a decision which way to go and it appears on paper we’ve made the right decision because all the speed went to the 1200m and not so much the 1350m,” Gollan said.
The recent afternoon storms in Brisbane has left the Doomben track rated a Soft 7 on Friday morning but that should not worry Whiskey Allround who has a win and a third on a soft track.
The Rodney Northam trained Big Money is also at home on a rain affected tracks with four wins and two seconds on soft tracks.