Queensland’s leading trainer, Tony Gollan, has labelled Ashgrove as his best winning chance at Doomben this Saturday as he follows up an impressive maiden win on November 15.
The three-year-old son of Dundeel will step out to 2000m in the $125,000 Eagle Way, where he is the $2.40 favourite ahead of Caboche ($5) and Gypsy Goddess ($6).
“My best winning chance I think at Doomben this Saturday on what will be a rain-affected track I think is Ashgrove,” the trainer said on his social media pages.
“First time out to the 2000m and three-year-old event, race number three.
“He was a big improver with the blinkers on third-up over the mile the other day.
“He’s a cheeky little colt and they (blinkers) certainly focused him well.”
Ashgrove started a very short $1.30 favourite in his most recent race and did not disappoint his backers, racing away to win by 3.5 lengths under Ryan Maloney.
Ashgrove bolts in by 3.5 lengths over the Doomben 1600m today for @tonygollan & @RMaloney_Jockey
It was his 1st time out to the mile & with blinkers on
This son of Dundeel was a $260k purchase at the @mmsnippets ’20 yearling sale from @NewgateFarm pic.twitter.com/wkyhNtQZV7
— Black Soil Bloodstock (@Black_Soil_Bsk) November 17, 2021
Maloney will once again partner the colt on Saturday, this time from barrier 10, but his trainer isn’t too concerned about the gate due to the rise in trip.
“He did a really good job and I think this 2000m will suit him down to the ground,” Gollan said.
“He is certainly bred to get the 2000m, no doubt about that, he’s just got to execute things well in the middle stages of the race and settle, which I think he will.
“Maloney knows him really well; he was lucky enough to get Ryan’s weight on Saturday (57kg) and it should all work out quite well.”
Ashgrove only made his racetrack debut on October 10 at the Sunshine Coast, where he caught the eye running on into third, with his trainer putting his late start down to a bit of cheek and immaturity.
“He’s a really cheeky little horse – he always has been,” Gollan said.
“But he’s really settled into himself as he’s got to be a three-year-old and improve on his temperament.
“He was bought to try and remain a colt and at this time we’ve certainly been able to do that.
“He’s got plenty of character, but he’s a lovely little horse and he’s got very good ability.”
Gollan is set to start 17 horses at Doomben’s 10-race meeting this weekend, including both Baller and Zoustyle in the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m).
Zoustyle is the $2.40 favourite after a dominant first-up win in the Swiss Ace Plate (1000m) at the Sunshine Coast, while Baller is the $5.50 second elect after an eye-catching third behind stablemate Tambo’s Mate in the Keith Noud Quality (1200m) on November 13.