Queensland sprinter Temple Of Boom goes to Flemington in search of a rare Gilgai Stakes double.
Temple Of Boom won the Group Two race in 2011 and if he can do it again on Saturday he will become only the second dual winner of the straight track sprint.
Bomber Bill is the only horse so far to win the race twice and coincidentally his victories came three years apart in 2000 and 2003.
“He won it three years ago and I think he’s in that form, or maybe a touch better, heading into this,” Temple Of Boom’s trainer Tony Gollan said.
At his first start since his second to Gilgai rival River Lad in the Stradbroke Handicap, Temple Of Boom was beaten by Chautauqua who he will also meet again.
Chautauqua is the $2.80 favourite after his scintillating win in the Bobbie Lewis Quality at Flemington where he beat Temple Of Boom by 2-1/2 lengths.
But a 6kg turn-around is one of the things Gollan believes will aid Temple Of Boom’s chances on Saturday.
“We’re not going there waving the white flag,” Gollan said.
“I feel my horse has made really good improvement and is much better suited at the weights this time. That gives us a chance to turn the tables.
“(Chautauqua) was very good and will certainly be hard to beat but there’s also others in the race. It’s not just a one or two horse race. It’s a good field.”
While Gollan said Chautauqua was visually impressive in the Bobbie Lewis, he felt Temple Of Boom was brave under his 59.5kg.
Temple Of Boom has won three times down the straight at Flemington and headed into this spring after a winter campaign in Brisbane which netted a Group Two Victory Stakes win as well as his Stradbroke placing and another second in the Doomben 10,000.
“I think he’s coming off a career-best winter and hopefully that leads to a career-best spring,” Gollan said.
“I know he’s an eight-year-old, but I think the combination with (jockey) Tegan Harrison has been fantastic for this horse.
“I’m looking forward to this race and the rest of the spring.”
Harrison has been Temple Of Boom’s regular rider since the beginning of his winter campaign.