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 at Moonee Valley, 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 when 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 saw 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 the Oakleigh Plate over 1,100 metres and a second in 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 went 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!
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.
Updates to this post
*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.
24/5/14: Spirit Of Boom wins his second Group 1, the Doomben 10,000 on 24 May, beating half brother Temple Of Doom. What a way for the champ to go out, or, will he contest the Stradbroke? We’ll know shortly!
9/6/14: Spirit Of Boom ran his last race in the Stradbroke Handicap and finished a gallant fourth. He’s off to stud now, ready for the next phase of his life. His on-field record will show two Group 1s for his efforts racing against the best, including Lankan Rupee, currently rated as the world’s fastest sprinter. Well done, champ.
Leanne Henderson is a communications specialist and owner of Best of Breed Communications Pty Ltd.