iskander

Gollan takes unusual path to Domenico


An unconventional path used by one of Australia’s best modern-day sprinters and replicated last year is the inspiration for Tony Gollan to plot a San Domenico Stakes upset.

Gollan is trying to emulate sprint queen Gold Edition’s 2006 victory and Chris Waller’s 2009 success with Shellscrape when he saddles up Spirit Of Boom in the Group Three race at Randwick on Saturday.

The San Domenico is usually used as a spring pipe-opener for three-year-olds returning after Sydney autumn campaigns but Gold Edition and Shellscrape have been recent exceptions.

Shellscrape, with the benefit of residual fitness from a Brisbane winter campaign, won last year’s race on the back of a seven-week let-up.

Gold Edition was coming off a 10-week gap after her narrow Queensland Sires’ Produce defeat.

Spirit Of Boom goes into this year’s edition with an 11-week break between runs but Gollan believes there is enough symmetry for the strategy to work again.

Tony-Gollan-Falvelina

“Basically I’ve tried to copy what Chris Waller did with Shellscrape last year,” Gollan said.

“I gave my horse a slight ease-up after the carnival in Brisbane before going again and so far everything has gone to plan.”

Spirit Of Boom was ridden by Stathi Katsidis in two runs at the end of his winter campaign but Jim Cassidy picks up the San Domenico ride.

Cassidy was booked when it was thought Katsidis would be riding in Brisbane.

Katsidis has since taken the mount on Golden Slipper runner-up Decision Time but Gollan isn’t fazed.

“It’s all part of the jockey merry-go-round,” he said.

Cassidy warmed up for his first city meeting in almost two months when he rode a winner on his return to the saddle at Hawkesbury on Thursday.

The veteran rider had a pin removed from his ankle and had arthroscopic surgery on his knee.

“I’ve been back riding work for two weeks now and I’m feeling great,” the 47-year-old said.

Cassidy rode Spirit Of Boom in work at Rosehill on Tuesday morning.

“The horse wasn’t out to break any records but the gallop was solid enough,” Gollan said.

Spirit Of Boom, a $9.50 chance, has drawn the middle of the field in barrier five with the speed in the race tipped to come from his outside via Brightexpectations (six) and Solar Charged (nine).

Solar Charged opened a clear-cut favourite with TAB Sportsbet at $2.30 despite her wide draw.

The John O’Shea-trained filly is first-up since missing a place for the first time in her career in the Golden Slipper.

But a 7-1/2 Rosehill trial win confirmed she is wound up for a winning return.