You can take the boy out of Toowoomba but it is hard to take Toowoomba out of the boy.
A perfect example is Brisbane’s leading trainer Tony Gollan who will return home chasing a big-race double on Saturday.
He will have Sheiswhatsheis in the Toowoomba Cup (2000m) and Casual Choice in the Listed Weetwood Hcp (1200m).
Gollan went to school in Toowoomba where he was a star rugby league player at St Mary’s College and later for Valleys and All Whites in the club competition.
But horse racing was always his passion and he mixed training with playing football from the time he was 20.
Gollan had about 200 winners while training in Toowoomba but six years ago decided to move to Brisbane to further his career.
It was a masterstroke as he has won the past three Brisbane premierships and is set to make it four this season.
Gollan is happy with the move but like all Toowoomba-raised trainers he likes winning big races there.
Of the past 20 Weetwoods, 14 of the winners have been trained on the Darling Downs and 11 of the past 20 Cup winners were trained by locals or former locals.
“Brisbane has been good to us but you always like to come home and win the big races. I won the Toowoomba Cup with Bang On (2013) and I would love to win it again,” Gollan said.
He said Sheiswhatsheis had started to live up to her early potential with runaway wins at her two most recent starts at the Doomben 1600m.
Gollan has no doubt she can step up to the 2000m of the Toowoomba Cup.
“She has always impressed me as a horse who would get at least 2000 metres. I probably made a mistake not getting her out to 1600 and further earlier in her career,” Gollan said.
“Sheiswhatsheis can roll along and that should suit her around Toowoomba. The other thing is she can handle wet and dry conditions.”
Casual Choice will be having his first start since failing in feature races in the Brisbane summer carnival.
“But he has won first-up and this is a good race to start off this campaign,” Gollan said.