It’s not often that a ‘bridesmaid in sport’ inspires you. But when Spirit Of Boom got up to win this year’s William Reid Stakes on 21 March, he reminded us of what racing’s all about. Persistence.
No longer the luckless second to the great horses at Group One level, he broke through for his first G1 win, and deservedly so.
Mind you, his win came with a nervous wait for the number to appear in the frame. Queensland trainer Tony Gollan and the owners held their breath as the judge called for a photo that showed the narrowest of margins.
What happened next was excitement and elation. The holy Spirit Of Booooom finally had God on his side!
When jockey Michael Rodd found out his horse had won, he said ‘I can’t tell you how much this means to me’. He’s not the only one!
Being on track made it all the more special
Just ask Greg Irvine, owner of this very special photo (above) taken moments after the race. Greg’s photo says so much about the occasion, the emotion, and what it feels like to have the ‘monkey off the back’ in sport.
The 6yo son of Sequalo, Spirit Of Boom started his Group 1 autumn campaign with a second in both the Oakleigh Plate over 1,100 metres and the Newmarket over 1,200. His performances served as great preparation for the William Reid, a Group 1 sprint race at weight-for-age, run over 1,200 metres on a tight turning track they call the ‘Valley’.
A great race creates its own history, and the status of winning this race goes up a notch knowing that Black Caviar had won it twice.
Why single out Spirit Of Boom?
Every horse has a story and Spirit Of Boom has his. His racing style is the epitome of never giving up, always contesting and giving it his best shot. And always figuring in the finish. It’s a story about his trainer and owners never losing patience with him, and placing their ‘investment’ where it would eventually be realised.
Tony Gollan: This is my second Group 1 win as a trainer and I’m rapt to win it down here as the state (Victoria) has been good to me. He’s a very tough stallion, he’s been racing for many seasons. He enjoys his racing. Source: gollanracing.com.au
Spirit Of Boom’s next assignment?
He’s off to Randwick for the T J Smith Stakes* and maybe the Goodwood in May! Then, it’s a visit to some ladies? Rumour has it, he’ll join his dad Sequalo later this year!
Why not talk to @ on Twitter and ask him how he intends to run his next race!
*Update 12/4/14: Spirit Of Boom was scratched from the TJ Smith Stakes due to the heavy track conditions. But that’s a minor hiccup for this champ, and we look forward to seeing him race at least once more before retirement.
And who’s William Reid?
A Victorian banker who owned a number of racehorses including Uncle Sam, winner of the Caulfield Cup in 1912 and 1914, and third home in the Melbourne Cup of 1912. He was a former committee member of the Moonee Valley Racing Club and died in 1923.
Leanne Henderson is an Australian financial services executive and PR, marketing and communications specialist and owner of Best of Breed Communications Pty Ltd.