Ipswich track a winner as top trainer seals ‘grand slam’
HAVING won all the other major races at Ipswich over many years, Tony Gollan had one missing goal to complete the proverbial grand slam.
The Ipswich premier trainer achieved that this afternoon when another Bundamba regular Robbie Fradd steered four-year-old mare Solar Star to glory in the $125,000 Gai Waterhouse Classic.
"It's always good to finish the day on a winner, particularly with the feature race,'' Toowoomba-based Gollan said.
"I think I've won every feature race here now - the (Ipswich) Cup, the Eye Liner and now the Gai Waterhouse Classic.''
One of his best days at Bundamba was in 2014 when he won the Cup-Eye Liner double with Brave Ali and Alma's Fury respectively.
But while satisfied with the win and impressed with the massive upgrade being finished at the Ipswich Turf Club, Gollan had another reason to be pleased.
"It's all looking good the facilities and stuff but most importantly for us is the track,'' he said.
"It's playing brilliant. It's playing great.
"And we travel with great confidence our horses can run to their best on this track here.
"I'm a big supporter of Ipswich. I love coming here.''
Today's track was rated a good 4.
Solar Star strode to victory ahead of favourite Jami Lady and the James Cummings trained Multaja.
Gollan's association with Ipswich has spanned more than 30 years.
"Coming here on the big days and winning the feature races is pretty important to me,'' he said.
"I'm only up the road at Toowoomba, about an hour away.''
He said seeing the Ipswich Cup and Eye Liner as a kid before becoming a strapper and moving into the training ranks motivated him to chase his racing dream.
However, having the tradition-rich Eye Liner Stakes and Gai Waterhouse Classic without an Ipswich Cup was a hot topic at the Ipswich Turf Club today.
It was a Racing Queensland decision to not run this year's Ipswich Cup.
"It's really weird,'' Gollan said. "I said this morning, I really like coming to Ipswich Cup Day. Eagle Farm finishes, the carnival in Brisbane (is over) and you get to come here.
"Being here west of Brisbane, it's all fun.
"It's a really weird year but it's just fantastic we still have got some of these feature races on.
"It's always special to win a race on the feature day here. All these feature races I treasure.''