Queensland’s premier coach, Tony Gollan, worked harder than anyone else to win the historic Stradbroke handicap-and for good reason.
Tony Gollan’s beloved father passed away more than a year ago, but his legacy survived the TAB Stradbroke Handicap week through his son’s never-giving up attitude.
When Queensland’s chief horse trainer worked hard to win the race, he was eager more than anyone else-the historic Stradbroke-the memories of his horse trainer and tax collector father Darryl flooded in.
Tony grew up in a bar in Darling Downs, where he watched his father train horses, which filled him with a strong professional ethic and a strong desire for success.
Literally, Gollans also has a winning streak of never giving up.
Darryl won Doncaster as the owner of Dalrello in 1975, and his son was dying when he won Group 1 Doomben 10,000 in 2014 with Spirit Of Boom.
This seriously ill senior horse trainer was fighting heart disease and esophageal cancer. He bravely fought for another six years until his death in April last year.
Therefore, when Vega One won the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup last month, it was a special family moment. Tony embraced his beloved 73-year-old mother Paulette in the Eagle Farm installation yard.
Paulette is known for her previous work as an operator in the local TAB. She has been fighting her health problems recently, but she is the most proud mother in the world and hopes that the success of Vega One can be replicated in Stradbroke.
“Tony gave me the biggest hug that day. This is the biggest hug I’ve got from him in a while,” Polet said with a smile.
“I am very proud of him, he is like his father, who has put in a lot of effort.
“It was a very special moment, and it was a wonderful time for Tony and me.”
Gollan, now he has five Group 1 on his resume, and hopes to get another one in Stradbroke Fancy Vega OneHe soon admitted that without his family, there would be no him today.
He always admired his father, the strong trainer needed two blood transfusions to attend Tony’s wedding in 2014.
The teachings under the Golan family tree are still bearing fruit today.
There are games richer and more prestigious than Stradbroke.
But Stradbroke was Gollan’s most wanted race, and his father (one of the veterans of Queensland Motorsports) responded in training.
“Working hard is Dad’s ability-he is a’the harder you work, the luckier you are’, that kind of person,” Golan said.
“He will never give up his horse. If he has an injured horse, he will always try to get a magic potion to repair it and restore it to full health.
“His health is the same. In 2014, he was unwell, but he persisted until 2020, which is remarkable. We often talk about trying to win Stradbroke and what it takes.
“This has always been a game I have always wanted to win.
“There is the Melbourne Cup, there is Mount Everest, but if you are a pure Queenslander, then Stradbroke is your game.
“This is a difficult race to win because it is a handicap, so you have to beat the handicap to keep your horse at the right weight, and you must have a good enough horse to win.
“It’s always a capacity field, it almost always runs like a proper race, fast-paced, and there is nowhere to hide in Stradbroke.
“This is a good horse race.”
On May 29, after jockey Jamie Kah cast his magic on Eagle Farm’s Vega One to win the Kingsford-Smith race, the betting company installed the Gollan gallop as a race on Saturday. Defeat the champion of the US$1.5 million TAB Stradbroke race on a track.
Sydney jockey Rachel King in good condition will ride Vega One. Gollan thinks this horse will win last year’s Stradbroke, but finished fourth after starting from a big obstacle.
Vega One was suspended after being injured in Stradbroke last year, but Gollan has brought him back and it’s better than ever.
This is the attitude of never giving up, passed down from Golan’s father.
“He has always been a tricky horse, he bleeds even before I got him, so of course it is not easy,” Golan said.
“In the beginning he was very headstrong, but in the first preparation he made for me, he showed me some good glimpses. In that preparation, he went from the virgin race to the betting game.
“I thought he would win last year’s Stradbroke, but the obstacle may have defeated him and there is still a long way to go to get him back on the court after being injured.
“I do think he is the one to beat this year. Since Jamie (Kah) cannot return from Victoria (Covid travel restrictions), we are very happy that we have Rachel King.
“To be honest, I probably watch Rachel ride more horses than Jamie rides. That’s because I watch more Sydney games than Melbourne.
“Rachel is ranked third in the Sydney Jockeys League, which may tell me what a good rider she is.
“They are the best overall drivers in Australia.”