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By Tony Gollan | Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Back-to-back Brisbane Premiership winner and record breaking trainer Tony Gollan resumes his popular blog on HRO today. Gollan will write a monthly blog exclusive to the HRO website. Here Tony looks at some of the goals that have been set for the stable for the season. He also comments on his team of riders and the positive contribution they bring to the Gollan camp

We have got off to a flying start this season. It’s probably the best start I’ve ever had, but there’s no resting on our laurels if the stable is to achieve its short, mid-term and long-term aims that we always try to set for the season.

As far as week to week goes, our business is growing. It has grown a lot since we came down here to Brisbane and we want to sustain that growth while still being able to train plenty of winners. Keeping that momentum going ... that’s basically the week to week goal.

Looking further than that, this season we’d certainly like to develop a few more stakes horses. We were very quiet on that front last season after having an amazing season the season before.

So one of the stable goals this season is to do a few things better in that regard and turn some of our nice Saturday horses into stakes horses ... particularly for the stakes races here at home.

The Winter Carnival means a lot me. The year before was a breakthrough for us. This year we were down on what we hoped for although we did have a fairly new team.

We’d lost a lot of top end horses out of our stable and for the stable to continue getting the results we did under those circumstances ... we were ultimately pleased with that.

But we did struggle in the Winter Carnival this year which was a disappointing factor for the year for us. I want to have more of a presence in our better races here so that is definitely the longer term stable aim for this season.


The building process has been a lot of hard work. I had good support from the clients when I came down here. I had a nice team of horses that could be competitive at different times of the year here in Brisbane.

What I was surprised at was how up and down the first year was. I knew it was going to be tough. I heard about the perils of moving a big stable before I came.

Talk about the ups and downs. We had plenty of them in the first season. We’d go from really great runs and then have some really bad runs. That obviously is racing to a degree, but we really were up and down.

So the next year, our first premiership year, we set about establishing some consistency in our performance ... week in and week out ... which is bloody important because that consistency then services most of your clients.

I think we achieved that and then we took that to another level last season.

I obviously want to maintain that high standard and improve further where I can.


Currently, the whole team is going well. We’ve had thirteen winners in the first month, eleven of them metropolitan ... with the Tegan Harrison and stable apprentice Lani Fancourt riding the bulk of the winners.

Tegan has been great. She’s had her first season as a senior under her belt.

Her first season reminds me of my first season in Brisbane. There were awfully good moments and some not so good moments. Like me, I think she initially struggled to find that middle ground but that’s what happens in your first year out of that safety net of your apprenticeship.

It’s a huge step trying to go well in the big, bad world of the senior rider.

Tegan had an up and down year. She’ll be the first to admit that ... but she rode it out well in the end and she’ll be the better rider for it now.

She’s hit the ground running this season and she’s riding as well now as she has ever ridden, in my opinion.


As far as Lani is concerned, at the time I convinced by mom and dad to come down to Brisbane about a year ago, Lani was apprenticed to my dad... so I sort of inherited Lani with that shift.

Lani is a good kid. She works well ... but it wasn’t that easy for her to get where she is now. She had a weight problem after she had a few injuries. So she struggled with the weight. She probably struggled with settling into a new lifestyle and routine.

I gave her a taste of a few metropolitan rides in the autumn and then I sent her back to the coast and told her to get herself ready for when the new season starts because when you are a 3kg claimer in town you are going to be pretty invaluable.

You’ve got to be able to keep your weight down and claim off the minimum. If you can do that then you are going to have a good season.

I’m very critical of how you go about certain things. At one stage Lani was wasting so hard and not doing it correctly so she wasn’t getting to the races at one hundred percent. She worked her way through that though.

She eventually got her weight under control. She got herself fit and healthy and, most importantly, she’s happy. You can see the difference.

Now she is able to go to the races and not only ride light, but ride light comfortably and, in doing that, she is now riding so much better.

With that has come some opportunities. She’s made the most those opportunities, some of which have brought success. Success breeds confidence ... and off you go.

Jimmy Byrne and Tim Bell are also part of our riding team, although Timmy is off to Singapore now. They are all part of our crew. Everybody gets in and works hard.

Lani does the most work. She’s still got the (a) beside her name so she has to do a bit of extra work around the stable, but the others are here two days a week doing the gallops as we require them and the jump-outs and the trials.

They all get their rewards out of the stable and we have a good team atmosphere which certainly helps thing move along in the right direction.

It doesn’t happen by itself. We’ll keep working at it.

More articles

Tony Gollan
Tony Gollan
Tegan Harrison
Tegan Harrison
Lani Fancourt
Lani Fancourt
Jim Byrne
Jim Byrne
Tim Bell

Photos: Graham Potter
Tim Bell

Photos: Graham Potter

"We’d certainly like to develop a few more stakes horses. We were very quiet on that front last season after having an amazing season the season before.

So one of the stable goals this season is to do a few things better in that regard and turn some of our nice Saturday horses into stakes horses ... particularly for the stakes races here at home"
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