By Glenn Davis
It’s early days but Tony Gollan is facing his stiffest test in several seasons to defend his long running reign as Brisbane’s premier trainer.
After being crowned Queensland’s champion trainer for a fifth consecutive season at Sunday night’s gala awards night presentation, Gollan is normally the premiership front runner at this stage of the new season.
However, the former Toowoomba product finds himself in an unusual position in fifth place with just six wins for the new season - four wins behind joint leaders Steve O’dea and Toby Edmonds with 10 wins apiece.
David Vandyke and former premiership winning trainer Rob Heathcote stand between Gollan and the top pair with nine and eight wins respectively.
Gollan has Brisbane’s biggest stable and is hopeful of pegging back O’dea and Edmonds’ lead at Doomben on Wednesday.
“I haven’t had a lot of runners like in past years and we’ve had a lot of placings,” Gollan said.
“I’m at full capacity with 90 in the stable and a lot are babies. I’m sure we’ll soon turn things around.”
Gollan accepted with eight runners in five races at Doomben and selected Just Orm as the stable’s best hope.
Just Orm, drew perfectly in barrier one, and will be having his third run this campaign in the CMFEU - Construction & General Benchmark 75 Handicap (1110m).
Gollan had a big opinion of Just Orm early in his career but the now five-year-old has won four of 19 starts.
Just Orm, a Jim Byrne mount, is coming off a last start seventh to the Kris Lees-trained Tactical Advantage in a 1000-metre Class Six at the Sunshine Coast on September 1.
The son of Falvelon previously was beaten just over three lengths when eighth to Tarzan over 1110 metres at Doomben in August.
“He got trapped three wide last run and had no luck in running,” Gollan said.
“This is a big drop in class and he loves Doomben so he’s our best chance.”
Meanwhile Gollan has decided to call a halt to Outback Barbie’s spring campaign in Sydney while a decision will be made later whether Ef Troop’s continues his Melbourne campaign.
Outback Barbie was unlucky in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes and Group 2 Furious Stakes at Randwick before finishing seventh in the Group 2 Tea Rose at Randwick on Saturday.
“Outback Barbie will come home for a short break before she gets ready for the summer carnival here,” Gollan said.
Ef Troop, who was crowned last season’s champion two-year-old, beat two runners home but was less than five lengths behind the James Cummings-trained Encryption in Saturday’s Group 2 Danehill Stakes at Flemington.
“I’ll monitor E Troop over the next week and if he doesn’t stay down there he’ll also come home the summer carnival.”
Racing Queensland webnews September 17