With a gelding operation proving the tonic for stakes success in Brisbane, trainer Tony Gollan is hoping similar improvement can be applied to Ignite The Light in a midweek Sydney maiden.
The significant gear change has paid dividends for Gollan recently with Most Important who backed up winning the Group Three George Moore Stakes on December 3 with victory in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes on Saturday.
Gollan isn’t about to compare a three-year-old maiden to a stakes winner, but says Ignite The Light appears to be a better prospect since losing his manhood.
“He was a very big heavy colt, so gelding is probably the making of him,” Gollan said.
Ignite The Light gets his first crack at racing as a gelding in Wednesday’s TAB Rewards Maiden Plate (1100m) at Warwick Farm.
Gollan says the horse is promising but is wary of others who have shown talent without delivering.
“It’s a pretty nasty word, potential, because a lot of horses don’t live up to their potential,” Gollan said.
“If this horse ever does he’ll make a nice horse.”
Blake Shinn sticks with the horse after riding him in a barrier trial at Rosehill on December 6 when he finished third, less than half a length behind The Pharaoh who is set to line up in Wednesday’s race.
The trial was his first appearance since two disappointing starts in August where he wasn’t able to justify favouritism.
“He’s come back well this time and his trial at Rosehill was really good,” Gollan said.
“I don’t think he’s at full fitness yet but he’s not far off the mark.”
Race experience is one advantage Ignite The Light will have over the $2.50 favourite Shackleton who is down to make his debut for trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
Shackleton, a colt by Fastnet Rock, was knocked down for $1.35 million at the Easter yearling sale and leads the market ahead of Ignite The Light who is an $8 chance.
Ignite The Light is stationed at the Brisbane-based Gollan’s Rosehill satellite stable which has produced a sole victory since it was established earlier in the year.
“Maidens down there, they’re bloody strong,” Gollan said.
“Particularly two- and three-year-olds, you don’t know what you’re going to run into on a Wednesday and maybe that could be the case for us.”