When premier Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan established a satellite stable in Sydney, he was under no illusions about how tough it would be to make an impact.
A frustrating run of outs finally ended earlier in the month when Dee Nine Elle broke through by the barest of margins, lifting the proverbial primate from his shoulders.
“It was a bit more like a gorilla than a monkey in the end,” Gollan told AAP.
He is hoping the same horse can give him his second Saturday winner from the stable in the Hyland Boxing Day Sale Handicap (1350m) at Rosehill.
One of the first horses to be trained from his Rosehill base, Dee Nine Elle’s consistency gave Gollan an inkling she would be able to match it in Sydney.
The four-year-old mare has missed a place twice in her 14-start career.
Her Sydney record is even stronger with two wins and three runner-up finishes.
“She showed in the winter that she’d be up to off-season racing down there,” Gollan said.
Gollan is planning to bring her back to her home state for the Magic Millions Fillies and Mares race worth $1 million on the Gold Coast on January 14.
While she rises to 59kg in Saturday’s race, she gets to a distance at which she has won twice.
“Stepping out to 1350 metres is a big plus and home track now for her is Rosehill,” Gollan said.
“I’d just love a bit of sting out of the ground for her. She does seem to be very effective with a bit of cut in the track.”
Her last-start win was over 1200m and first-up – two conditions at which she had never previously won.
“When she’s doing a few things before that she hadn’t done already, hopefully it means she’s in for a good preparation,” Gollan said.
Tim Clark is enjoying a sterling season and will stick with Dee Nine Elle after being aboard for her last-start win.
In-form apprentice James Innes will be looking for his third-straight win on the Gerald Ryan-trained Girl Sunday who is aiming to make it four from four this preparation.