Premier Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan will have a large number of runners at Doomben on Saturday but much interest in his team will centre of the debut of two year old Knight Mariner.
Gollan has had another excellent season with his two years and produced a smart filly in Ingear who won by five lengths at Ipswich on Wednesday.
Gollan is hoping Knight Mariner can continue the good run.
The colt, who will be having his first start in the Madam Wu Two Year Old (1350m), has impressed in a recent trial.
Knight Mariner was picked out by Gollan’s bloodstock adviser John Foote as a possible future stayer.
He is bred to be a top class stayer being by the sire of many Group One staying race winners in Tavistock and out of the staying bred mare Soltina.
Gollan first trialled Knight Mariner in February when he ran second and then put him away to further mature.
“He is a lovely big horse but he isn’t the full package just yet,” Gollan said.
“Knight Mariner is bred to be a good stayer and maybe he could be our Derby horse next year. But that is getting a long way in front of ourselves and let’s take things slowly.
“Whatever he does on Saturday he will improve on. But I like giving these staying bred horses their first starts over a bit of ground late in the season.”
Knight Mariner was second in handy time in a trial at Doomben two weeks ago when he hit the line hard.
Jim Byrne, who rode him in the trial, will again have the mount on Saturday.
Gollan has accepted with ten horses at Doomben although one of his best chances according to betting markets in Ef Troop isn’t certain to run in the Class 6 (1110m).
A former top two year old who ran in a Golden Slipper, Ef Troop won first up but has had little luck in two runs since.
He was run down late at his most recent start when second after going too hard in the lead at Ipswich two weeks ago.
Gollan is debating whether to run him from barrier nine in Saturday’s race.
“I will have a talk with the owners because there is a three-year-old over 1200m on Saturday week,” he said.
“Usually you don’t start from wide gates from the 1110m at Doomben but he might just be too quick.”
Gollan also has his stalwart mares Prue’s Angel and Of The Day in the Open Hcp (1200m).
The five-year-old mares have won 12 races between them and were both unplaced at their last starts in the Listed Gai Waterhouse Stakes at Ipswich two weeks ago.
“The breeding barn is calling but they have both been racing in stronger races during the carnival,” he said.
“And they both have handy Doomben form.”
Gollan will also have ten runners at Rockhampton for the two day carnival.
“It is a busy time for us but hopefully we can get a few winners,” he added.