Tony Gollan and Stephanie Thornton combined in the second race of the day at Doomben on Wednesday for an impressive all-the-way victory with lightly raced mare Shosha.
Prior to joining Gollan’s stable, the daughter of Japanese sire Deep Impact underwent surgery for a kissing spine which saw her away from the races for over 12 months.
Shosha was originally trained by Chris Waller in Sydney, where she had three starts for zero placings, before Peachester Lodge sent the mare to the Sunshine State.
“I love training for the Huddys (Peachester Lodge); they always send us nice horses, whether we get them first-up, second-up or third-up off whoever, it doesn’t ever matter, they’re always well looked after and we normally do a job with them,” Gollan told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“She’s a beautifully bred filly and she’s an odd-shaped girl; there’s not a lot of her, but from the first minute we started doing something with her she’s always had a bit of a motor.
“It was good to see her stretch out to the mile today; she was only second-up at a mile off a very, very long lay off and she did a really good job.”
While Shosha had not shown much ability early on in Sydney, Gollan’s persistence with the mare paid dividends after a surgery which could have ended her racing career.
“She had surgery on her back, so it’s a pretty in-depth situation,” Gollan said.
“Linda (Huddy) sent me all the footage of it – it’s pretty ugly.
“There was always a little bit of a job ahead.
“She was never much to look at, and she’s not even today, but she’s a good galloping filly, she’s always got a really good action.
“She really wants to get out of the gates and do a job and that was evident today.
“Everything we saw today is what we’ve seen since the first day we trialled her … but she’s been through the ringer a little bit.”
Gollan was full of praise for Thornton, who took the heavily backed favourite to the front straight out of the gates and stayed there to win by 1.25 lengths.
“She’s great,” he said.
“She’s got beautiful soft hands on her and I always thought she’d rate her perfectly, which she did, so she did a great job, Steph.”