No Lankan Rupee. That’s one attraction for sprinters shooting for Group One success in Friday night’s William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley.
Especially Spirit Of Boom.
The Tony Gollan-trained Spirit Of Boom has had to settle for seconds in the Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket Handicap as Lankan Rupee produced outstanding performances to rise to the top of the world sprinting rankings for the first few months of 2014.
Spirit Of Boom gets another chance at a Group One breakthrough in the 1200m weight-for-age sprint and is one of the headline nominations along with Samaready, Shamexpress and Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner.
Not having Lankan Rupee against him is a plus, but Gollan is adamant there is still formidable opposition for Spirit Of Boom.
“By no means is it a one or two horse race,” Gollan said.
“There’s several good sprinters in there and I’m sure all of them are looking to make amends for the last couple of runs where most of us have been spanked by Lankan Rupee.
“It will be a good competitive race and the final fields and barriers and the runs horses get in transit around the Valley I guess will decide the winner.”
Lankan Rupee is being freshened for next month’s $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes in Sydney which is also on the radar for Spirit Of Boom.
Brisbane-based Gollan had been tossing up whether to keep Spirit Of Boom in Melbourne for the William Reid.
But with the horse in career best form, the trainer said it looked another suitable option.
“I’m really happy with the horse. He’s very settled down there where he is,” he said.
“He’s in a really good vein of form down there and he’s in good order so we’re happy to throw the dice.”
Spirit Of Boom was left in the wake of unbeaten champion Black Caviar in last year’s William Reid, finishing sixth in his only start at Moonee Valley.
Gollan says the six-year-old is a better horse this year.
Spirit Of Boom’s Newmarket jockey Michael Rodd retains the ride.
The $400,000 race attracted 13 nominations on Monday with entries extended until Tuesday.