Victorian jockey Michael Rodd completed a lifelong dream at Doomben today, taking out the $650,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) aboard the fast-finishing Spirit of Boom.
It was a masterful ride from Rodd, who in a daring change of tactics settled Spirit of Boom midfield on the rails, before forcing his way off the fence through an impossibly tight gap at the head of the straight.
Once in daylight, Spirit of Boom ($4.80 Equal-favourite) found himself needing every metre of the Doomben straight to reel in half-brother and stable-mate Temple of Boom ($26). The younger sibling prevailed on the line however, recording a resounding half-neck victory, with Robert Heathcote’s evergreen sprinter Buffering ($4.60 EF) a head away in third.
It’s a win that has been a long time coming for Rodd, who has dreamt of winning the Winter Carnival feature as long as he’s been in a saddle.
“This has been a dream of mine ever since I was a kid up here, working for Brian Guy,” Rodd said.
“I remember in the stables in the afternoon, you’d go and watch the Doomben 10,000.
“It was a race I’d always dreamt about winning; even more so than a Melbourne Cup, because I thought this was more within my reach.”
Rodd was elated upon returning to scale, thrilled to continue his successful relationship aboard Spirit of Boom, after the pair combined to take out the Group 1 William Ried Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley earlier this year.
“He’s flying,” he said. “He’s that sort of horse, he just needs the luck and he got it today.
“It’s great to be able to do it for Tony and Jane (Gollan), and some really great Queensland connections.”
It was a fairytale moment for Eagle Farm based trainer Tony Gollan, preparing his ‘Brothers Boom’ for a Group 1 quinella in his home state.
“This is an absolute dream come true,” Gollan said. “I’m absolutely gobsmacked.
“They’re two great horses to train. I’ve taken them everywhere and they just keep turning up. When they get the runs to suit, like they did today, they’re really hard to beat.
“At the 300m I was hoping Temple of Boom would hurry up, because I could see Spirit of Boom really travelling behind him. Teagan Harrison knew what she was doing and Michael (Rodd) just followed her.”
Gollan was quick to praise the efforts of Rodd, whose daring ride helped secure the trainer’s second Group 1 for the season.
“He took the narrowest of runs,” Gollan said. “He’s a six-year-old stallion and they don’t usually take those kind of runs.
“He’s off to stud after one more run, this might even be his last run; the Stradbroke would be a dream farewell.
“This is definitely the biggest moment of my life.”
Story by Daniel Miles