Why Tony Gollan is happy for homely Tambo’s Mate to finally leave Queensland

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Why Tony Gollan is happy for homely Tambo’s Mate to finally leave Queensland

By Adam Pengilly

Tony Gollan’s rain-chaser Tambo’s Mate will race outside of Queensland for the first time in his career with the top trainer worried a deluge in south-east Queensland will leave the Gold Coast meeting in doubt.

Tambo’s Mate, who has never left the sunshine state for any of his 26 career runs, will start as one of the favourites for the listed Starlight Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday, which is also likely to be run on a rain-affected track. In fact, Tambo’s Mate has never raced away from Doomben, Eagle Farm, Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast.

Tony Gollan is chasing a wet track with Tambo’s Mate.

Tony Gollan is chasing a wet track with Tambo’s Mate.Credit:Pat Scala

While Gollan has only had the six-year-old for four starts, he’s adamant the rest of Tambo’s Mate’s career will be spent trying to find wet weather as he eyes a third straight win this campaign.

“He’s a horse where you just have to be a rain-chaser,” Gollan said.

“I’ve been learning my way a bit with him. I’m adamant his best form going forward will always be on rain-affected tracks. He’s got a bit of wear and tear like a lot of older horses for one reason or another. He’s done a remarkable job for Stuart [Kendrick] and he’s doing a great job for me now.”

Gollan is preparing to float the horse to Peter and Paul Snowden’s Randwick base before the first leg of Sydney’s sprint series.

‘He’s a horse where you just have to be a rain-chaser.’

Tony Gollan

Ciaron Maher and David Eustace’s Snapdancer was a $3.90 favourite for the Starlight Stakes with Sportsbet on Thursday, just ahead of Tambo’s Mate ($4.50) and Southern Lad ($7).

The market was doing little to deter the confidence of Gollan, who had also entered Tambo’s Mate for the Recognition Stakes at the Gold Coast on Saturday. The Gold Coast track was rated a heavy (10) on Thursday.

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Tambo’s Mate has won all four starts on tracks rated in the soft or heavy range.

“I’d be really disappointed if I stayed here and they got washed out,” Gollan said. “There’s a chance it will be in the heavy range in Sydney by the look of the forecast.

“We weren’t even going to go to the Keith Noud [last start], but the rain came so we trialled and accepted with him. I was 50-50 if he was quite fit enough, but he went super and the track got back to a soft 5.

“Just the way the prep has turned out has so far has been good. I really think we’re quite well weighted with 59 kilograms. It’s always good when you get James [McDonald] on.
He’s ridden for me since he was an apprentice and came over. He’s a good guy and I love getting him on. It all fits in well.”

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