It’s taken nine months and six starts for Holler to live up to early expectations and he’s done it in style on the big stage at Moonee Valley.
Holler won his debut in January to briefly hold favouritism for the Golden Slipper.
The colt didn’t make it to the two-year-old showpiece and his Golden Rose run in September was so bad Godolphin trainer John O’Shea thought he must have been ill.
He wasn’t and he bounced back in style to lead all the way in Saturday’s Group Three Telstra Phoneworks Stakes (1200m) a week after his second to Mahuta in a Listed race at Caulfield.
“He is big heavy colt and had done so well during the week we decided to back him up,” O’Shea said.
“I was going to run him in a 1400-metre race at Flemington in two weeks and didn’t want him to go three weeks between runs.
“But I think he might be too brilliant for seven (furlongs) so we’ll see.
“One thing I won’t be doing is backing him up again next week in the Coolmore Stud Stakes.”
Holler ($3.50) spaced Brockhoff ($10) by 4-1/4 lengths with Demonstrate ($9), also trained by O’Shea for Godolphin, making ground late to be another three-quarters of a length third.
O’Shea said races like the Group One William Reid Stakes in the autumn were on the radar for Holler.
“He may well be back here for the William Reid,” he said.
“It is all about seasoning these three-year-old colts for the autumn and beyond.
“The only way to do that is to run them at these tracks and get them used to them.”
Godolphin jockey James McDonald was impressed with the professionalism of Holler’s win.
“He got into a lovely rhythm and never felt like he was going to get beaten,” he said.
“He is a good colt, this horse.”