Hot stablemate Flying Rupert stands in way of Golden Slipper berth for Capital Tower

Tony Gollan isn’t convinced unbeaten colt Capital Tower is a Golden Slipper horse, but it would be nice to have the option if he can beat his highly-fancied stablemate on Saturday.

Tony Gollan will test Capital Tower’s Golden Slipper credentials against his red-hot stablemate at Toowoomba on Saturday as he ponders launching a mission to the top juvenile race in Sydney from Brisbane.

The premier trainer had hoped to race his unbeaten colt in Sydney but the big wet over the past week put pay to any trips south.

With $81,000 in prizemoney, Capital Tower sits on the cusp of entry into the $5m Golden Slipper in a fortnight and a win in Saturday’s QTIS Jewel Prelude (1100m) would all but secure a spot in the field if Gollan wanted to go that way.

Standing in his way is his stablemate Flying Rupert, who was a hot trial winner at Deagon last month which was enough for TAB to enlist him a $1.60 favourite, with Capital Tower second elect at $2.70.

“He has jumped out of the ground, he always wanted to overdo things, he was aggressive young horse but always had a nice feel,” Gollan said of Flying Rupert.

“He isn’t much to look at, he is a little horse but he is doing well and he has turned into a racehorse.

“We won’t get ahead of ourselves, I have seen plenty of trial stars that aren’t race day stars so he has to take that trial form to the races.

“You are wary of them, especially when they start odds on but he trialled on very wet ground at Deagon but the time suggests he trialled very well and he did it pretty easy.”

The last horse to race exclusively in Queensland before going into the Golden Slipper was the Toby Edmonds-trained Houtzen, who ran fifth in 2017.

Gollan has had Ef Troop (2018, 13th) and Vincere Volare (2019, 14th) in the Golden Slipper since then, but both had starts in Sydney before going into the grand final.

Even with the carrot of $5m, heading to the Golden Slipper with Capital Tower if he wins on Saturday is no fait accompli, with Gollan saying he looks the perfect winter carnival horse.

“I just want to get him back and see where he sits, I don’t know if he is a Slipper horse or not really,” he said.

“It would nearly sneak him in if he won this type of race but I am not sure about it, it gives us an option to stay in the hunt for it if I wanted to, we could also back off him and keep him for the winter here.

“I think he’d be a really nice winter carnival horse but it was too long to give him off from November, a big strong colt like him, so I brought him back for a run or two in between.”

It marks a huge day for the Gollan stable, with 16 horses entered on what was his former home track at Toowoomba.

Originally published as Hot stablemate Flying Rupert stands in way of Golden Slipper berth for Capital Tower

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