Racing: Black Piranha may help rival

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

The decision by Con Karakatsanis to run Black Piranha in the Ramornie Handicap has provided rival trainer Tony Gollan with more optimism than concern about winning Grafton's feature sprint.

Black Piranha confirmed his place in the A$130,000 race tomorrow with an exhibition gallop on Sunday, but the dual Stradbroke Handicap winner will have to shoulder 61kg.

Queensland-based Gollan will saddle up Temple Of Boom, hopeful a 6.5kg pull in the weights over Black Piranha could be decisive.

"Black Piranha is a very good horse ... he's won two Stradbrokes," Gollan said.

"But in a way, him being in the race has opened the door for a horse like Temple Of Boom.

"Originally, I thought my horse may have been weighted out of it but with Black Piranha there it sets the Ramornie up as a very intriguing race."

Temple Of Boom will be Gollan's first runner at Grafton and he has secured the services of top NSW bush jockey Greg Ryan.

"He is obviously one of the leading riders on country New South Wales tracks so I'm happy to have him on."

Gollan said Temple Of Boom, a winner during last year's Melbourne Cup Carnival, had raced well in two recent Brisbane starts when ridden by Corey Brown.

"He was caught three-deep on the speed in the Healy Stakes so it was a really good run," he said.

Gollan believes the most recent of the 4-year-old's seven career wins provides a genuine insight into the sprinter's Grafton chances.

"When he won the Magic Millions Sprint this year, Atomic Force finished third and he went on to win the [Group One] Galaxy," he said.

Temple Of Boom, who will likely return to Melbourne for feature sprints early in the new season, has drawn ideally at three in the Ramornie.

Black Piranha, opening TAB Sportsbet favourite at $3.60, has come up with barrier seven in the 13-horse field with Takeover Target Stakes placegetter Motspur in stall five.

Here De Angels, a barrier rogue who had to convince stewards he had mended his manners, will make a comeback for new trainer Wendy Roche from the outside gate.

Interstate-trained runners are dominant among the main chances after a field of 15 stayers accepted for the A$150,000 Grafton Cup.

Recent Queensland winter carnival feature winners Gold In Dubai and Spechenka share 57kg topweight with the Gold Coast-trained Shuffle The Cash for Thursday's 2350m race.

Victorian-trained Gold In Dubai won the Ipswich Cup before his narrow defeat by Queensland stayer Spechenka in the Caloundra Cup.

The Bryan Guy-trained Shuffle The Cash, winner of the Premier's Cup at Doomben three starts ago, heads first TAB Sportsbet markets at $4.

Brian Smith, who won the 2000 Grafton Cup with Simigan, will be represented by $11 chance Little Stranger.

- AAP

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