Leading Queensland trainer Tony Gollan has included both Didntcostalot and Fontelina in 2016 Victory Stakes nominations, and is confident both horses are ready to produce good first-up performances in the feature race at Doomben on Saturday.
Gollan has experienced plenty of success in the Victory Stakes since taking the mantle as the Sunshine State’s lead trainer, and saddled Temple Of Boom to an impressive win in the race most recently in 2014.
While conceding both runners face a tough task in what is a small but talented field, Gollan told Racing Ahead he is pleased with the condition both are showing in work and is confident they are up to the standard of the race first-up.
“At this stage they’ll both go around,” Gollan said.
“Small field but always a hard little race to win.
“They’re both there first-up for their Winter Carnival preps and hopefully they can kick off and run well go onto the better races throughout the carnival.”
Fontelina will begin only his second preparation for Gollan in the 2016 Victory Stakes, having started his career under the guidance of notable Victoria-based trainer Anthony Cummings.
Unlucky not to have posted a win at the highest level, the Testa Rossa gelding has twice finished a close second in Group 1 feature races; in the 2013 edition of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and the 2014 edition of the William Reid Stakes (1200m), in which he was pipped on the line by the Gollan-trained Spirit Of Boom.
Running fifth in the Listed Lightning (1100m) in his first start for Gollan, Fontelina failed to figure when ninth in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) but arrived in Queensland for third in the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) and success in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m).
Didntcostalot undoubtedly found career-best form to date through his most recent preparation, highlighted by a maiden black type win in the George Moore Stakes.
The 2016 Victory Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, today.
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