The Tony Gollan trained Lyrical Girl ($1.50), who was bidding for a fifth consecutive win, was all the rage in the opening event at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday but, although Gollan did get to do the post-race winning interview, he was there as the winning trainer of the Lyrical Girl’s stable companion Air Spirit, an $18 chance, who sliced through the field in determined fashion to beat the second favourite Modelka ($4.50) by 0,50 lengths with Lyrical a further 1.30 lengths back in a weakening third place.
Air Spirit, who was tackling a first-up assignment here, is now a four-time winner from only eight starts and, notably, all of her career victories have come at the Sunshine Coast.
“Air Spirit was always going to be back where she was in the race,” said Gollan. “She has a good record at this track. She has really matured as a racehorse and I really like her this preparation. It is a shame we don’t have more Metro meeting here (at the Sunshine Coast).
‘I had all of this different gear going on her … on and off … probably more to try and rush her maturity than anything else, and then I thought I was probably better off just leaving her and giving her time.
“She has come back. She is an older horse now. She is just a much more furnished mare. She is going to win some nice races. It is iust a shame we don’t have a nice, big track like this in Brisbane.”
And Gollan’s thoughts on his beaten favourite?
“Lyrical Girl was a little bit ring-rusty I would say,” suggested Gollan. “She was slow away, and didn’t get into her normal spot on the speed. When that didn’t happen, she was out of her racing pattern and it was going to be really hard for her.
“She has a high cruising speed and when she was relegated backwards … it is not her go.”