Can Garibaldi go from a former problem child for punters to their pin-up and scoop a golden ticket into the Stradbroke Handicap?
Tony Gollan says the proof will be in the pudding on Saturday as his talented sprinter steps into the big league and aims for his first stakes win in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m).
Garibaldi has often been beaten at short odds during his 19 start career – he has gone down when $1.90, $2, $2.20, $2.90 and $3.50.
That included last-start when he almost certainly would have won as the $2.20 favourite in a Class 6 Plate at Eagle Farm if he had found clear air earlier in the straight.
However, along with frustration there has been plenty of good moments such as when Garibaldi strung four consecutive wins together at the end of his last campaign to start to bridge the gap between potential and performance.
After being unlucky last time, Gollan hopes the story of Garibaldi can go full circle at Doomben on Saturday and he can win the BRC Sprint, which offers the winner ballot exemption into the Stradbroke.
“He is a horse who not many punters liked, but now they are starting to like him,” Gollan said.
“I am still mindful of the fact he did get beaten the other day in a Class 6, that’s a big difference to a Group 3 race like he will be in on Saturday.
“It’s really just up to the horse on Saturday, it’s a fork in the road moment for him.
“This will tell us whether we are justified in aiming at top-line carnival races or we have to lower our sights and find our spot in the next tier.
“He’s been doing a good job over 1200m and he’s out to 1350m now and with the way he races and the way he switches off I don’t hold any massive fears about that.”
Tony Gollan is hunting a Stradbroke Handicap golden ticket with Garibaldi.Source:News Regional Media
Three-time Melbourne Cup winner Glen Boss will ride Garibaldi on race day for the first time and the four-year-old gelding has drawn favourably in barrier 5 in the BRC Sprint.
Gollan also has some big fish to fry on Saturday with Queensland Oaks aspirant Good Soize, who races in the Group 2 The Roses (2000m).
Good Soize has been finishing well in stakes races at her two most recent starts over shorter distances.
“The improvement in her is noticeable now and she is really starting to hit her straps,” Gollan said.
“We have drawn low in The Roses (barrier six) so hopefully she can be that little bit closer in running.
“Her two runs this campaign have been terrific and her work has improved.
“She is building to something, that’s the idea of her preparation.
“I have no doubt she can stay.”
Originally published asGollan has faith in punters’ nemesis Garibaldi
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