By Ray Hickson
Now he has the ‘monkey off the back’, trainer Tony Gollan has his sights set on making an impact during the Sydney autumn with Krone chasing his first Group 1 in the Harbour City since 2012 at Rosehill on Saturday.
Krone, who contests the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m), is already a drought breaker for the leading Brisbane trainer – her last start Guy Walter Stakes win was his first Group win in Sydney since that Group 1 by Temple Of Boom in the 2012 Galaxy.
Gollan has former NSW sprinter Jonker prepared for Saturday week’s Galaxy and exciting filly Isotope will also make her Sydney debut in the Darby Munro.
“She was dominant the other day,’’ Gollan said of Krone.
“It was a bit of a monkey off the back and I was certainly happy to get it.”
The mare was meant to be sold at a broodmare sale last winter but Gollan, seeing no signs of Krone losing interest in racing, recommended another season for the now five-year-old.
And connections have been rewarded with a Listed win, her Group 2 Guy Walter win and a $582,000 pay day from her Magic Millions day win.
“She had good ability before I got her,'' Gollan said.
"There was no reason to retire. She was willing, she wasn’t one of those mares showing a reason they didn’t want to be there, so we made the decision to go again.
“We got the job done Magic Millions day and we decided on a throw at the autumn and so far so good and we hope we can continue that on Saturday.”
Krone recorded some slick sectionals in winning the Group 2 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) two weeks ago, clocking 33.71 for her last 600m (Punter’s Intelligence) which was three lengths better than her next rival.
She was a $16 chance that day and, again, she’s been offered little respect at the same price on Wednesday in the Coolmore.
“If you look at the sectionals in her race, I know the speed was good, they ran home in 34 something and she’s come off the back of that and really stormed to the line,’’ Gollan said.
Tim Clark, who won last year’s Coolmore Classic on Con Te Partiro, is again in the saddle at Rosehill and Gollan was rapt the mare came up with the inside alley.
A bit of moisture in the track by race morning would provide that extra bit of a confidence Krone can match the likes of Daysee Doom (2018) and Steps In Time (2014) and carry 57kg to victory.
“We have gone up in weight the way the race has panned out, that’s annoying but it is part and parcel of winning races,’’ Gollan said.
“The barrier is very important to her, she can be closer, she doesn’t need to be back last. Off a good gate she can be much closer without doing any work on her.
“We rode for luck and came through them on Magic Millions day and saved ground and it’ll be no different on Saturday. She’ll be put away on the fence with some cover and it’ll be up to Tim to find all the runs.”
Krone wins at Randwick on February 27
Meanwhile, Gollan said Isotope is showing very positive signs ahead of her Sydney debut next weekend with the Darby Munro a stepping stone to the Group 2 $1m Arrowfield Sprint (1200m) at The Star Championships.
Of course Isotope hasn’t raced since she fell in the Magic Millions Guineas in January.
“She’s come back great, she was good at the jump outs the other day,’’ Gollan said.
“She was well behaved in the barriers which has been an issue with her in the summer. They worked together, her and Jonker, on Tuesday and she really is in good nick.”
Jonker is a $15 chance with TAB in all-in betting on the Galaxy while Isotope shares $11 favouritism for the Arrowfield Sprint.