Trainer Tony Gollan rates the Recognition Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday as one of the most competitive in years and is hopeful of claiming the Listed feature for a second time with Frespanol.
Gollan won last year’s Recognition Stakes with Traveston Girl when it was run over 1600 metres.
This year’s race has been shortened to 1400 metres and has attracted a highly competitive line-up.
“It’s a very strong race this year and very competitive and whoever wins will deserve it,” Gollan said.
“Frespanol has had a few runs this time in after having a long time off and looks a great chance.”
Frespanol was one of four Gollan-trained horses injured when a float rolled on the Bruce Highway enroute to Caloundra in April.
Thankfully, he suffered only minor abrasions but Gollan took no chances and spelled him to concentrate on the summer carnival.
Formerly trained by Gai Waterhouse, Frespanol hit form last start with a narrow win over Jopa at the Sunshine Coast on November 16.
“It was a good strong win last start and he’s done well since,” Gollan said.
Gollan plans to target the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1600m) at Doomben on December 17 before the Listed Bernborough Handicap (1600m) on the same track a fortnight later.
“Traveston Girl won both the Recognition Stakes and Brisbane Handicaps last year and that’s the path Frespanol is taking,” he said.
Gollan has ruled out aiming Frespanol at the Group 2 Villiers Stakes at Randwick next month but won’t be afraid to send him back south to his newly opened Sydney satellite stable.
“His place is here now but if there was a suitable race for him I can easily send him back down to race,” he said.
Gollan also has strong claims of taking out the Listed Colin McAlpine Memorial Classic (1200m).
The premier trainer will launch a three-pronged attack with Notonyourlife, Sheiswhatsheis and Themis.
“Themis is first-up and has a fair way to go and she’ll get back and hopefully run home well,” he said.
“Notonyourlife and Sheiswhatsheis have been running themselves into form and both should run well.
“But it’s a big field with a lot of chances.”
Notonyourlife has won his past two city starts including his latest victory over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm on October 29 while Sheiswhatsheis is backing up after finishing a close fourth to the Matt Dunn-trained Perfect Dare at Eagle Farm last week.
Racing Queensland webnews November 25