Some luck at the barrier draw will hold the key to veteran Temple Of Boom returning to his best form in the Group One Stradbroke Handicap.
Temple Of Boom was second in last year’s Stradbroke but has had little luck in three unplaced runs in the lead-up to Saturday’s race at Doomben.
Trainer Tony Gollan admitted it took longer than usual to get Temple Of Boom to peak fitness after an injury and his good work has been ruined by bad barriers.
However, Gollan believes the eight-year-old can be competitive in the $2 million race provided he draws an inside alley.
At his most recent start, Temple Of Boom drew the outside barrier in the Doomben 10,000 and was caught deep when 10th behind Boban.
“It has been a funny winter with the major races at Doomben. Good barriers have been even more important than usual. The pace of races has been all over the place,” Gollan said.
“They went at a break-neck speed in the 10,000 but then you get other races where the leader has been able to walk and sprint home,” he said.
“He had no hope when caught so deep in the 10,000. You can’t win a Group One sitting so deep.”
Temple Of Boom has 54.5kg in the Stradbroke and Gollan says that will be a factor.
“I can’t remember the last time he carried a weight like that,” Gollan said. “With Boban running, the weights won’t go up and that is in our favour.”
Temple of Boom has been specked at big odds leading into to Wednesday’s barrier draw.