Time is running out for well-travelled Spirit Of Boom to claim a Group One win but the sprinter gets another chance in Saturday’s Newmarket Handicap at Flemington.
The Tony Gollan-trained entire is in his final season of racing and after a first-up Oakleigh Plate second, Gollan says the six-year-old enters an open Newmarket (1200m) in career-best form.
Spirit Of Boom hasn’t been outside the top four in his past eight starts with his spring campaign including a breathrough Group Two win in the Caulfield Sprint.
He was second in the Group Two Yellowglen Stakes at Flemington and fourth in the Group One Winterbottom in Perth when he struck interference at the 600m.
“I can’t remember the last time he ran a bad race, that’s how well he’s been racing,” Gollan said.
“He was very good in all his runs in the spring and was completely luckless in Perth when he nearly got put over the inside fence.
“He probably deserves a Group One but unfortunately deserving one and getting one are two different things.”
Spirit Of Boom’s second to Newmarket rival Lankan Rupee in the Oakleigh Plate, his third Group One placing, showed Gollan the horse’s competitiveness and zest for racing was still there.
“I think he’s well enough weighted, providing he can get luck in running, to be really competitive on Saturday,” the trainer said.
Spirit Of Boom has never won down the Flemington straight but has five Group placings, yet not at Group One level.
He is a $15 chance in a race Gollan insists has several chances.
Samaready is the $4.40 favourite ahead of Lankan Rupee and last year’s winner Shamexpress at $4.60.
Topweight Moment Of Change, runner-up last year and Group One winner at his past two starts, is at $9.50.
The Brisbane-based Gollan is convinced barrier five is perfect for Spirit Of Boom as he expects he’ll get the cover he needs with on-speed types Bernabeu and Moment Of Change drawn directly to his outside.
“Then it’s a matter of from the 300-metre mark to home getting a clean, uninterupted run,” he said.
“If he can get that, he’ll plant himself right in the finish.”