What a Rippa! Gollan flyer joins millionaires’ club
I'M A Rippa became Queensland racing's latest millionaire when he showed all his fighting qualities to win Saturday's Listed Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich.
I'm A Rippa fought back to beat Tyzone, who seemingly had him covered halfway up the straight.
It caps a productive carnival for the four-year-old, who also won the Group 3 BRC Sprint last month, before running second in the Spear Chief at Caloundra.
It follows his successful summer campaign, when he took out the Magic Millions QTIS Quality in January.
"I'm just so proud of him. He's a tough little horse," trainer Tony Gollan said.
"He's come from a little unassuming little bloke that went to Rocky to win a maiden, to be winning an Eye Liner."
Gollan made special mention of jockey Jim Byrne, who has long held a big opinion of the horse.
"He's a master at Ipswich. He's a great rider anywhere we take him," Gollan said.
"He's a big part of our stable and he's been wanting to get back on this horse and the opportunity came up to get back on this horse today.
"He knocked us off the other day at the Sunshine Coast with the Snowdens, but he's got back on here at Ipswich and he's the man you want to be on."
Gollan said plans were in the air as to whether I'm A Rippa pressed on or took a break.
"I was going to go to the Glasshouse but I'm not sure. I might just rest him for the summer. We'll just see," he said.
Byrne educated I'm A Rippa early in his career, but through circumstances had seldom ridden him in races.
"I told Tony very early with this horse that I thought he was capable of getting to better races, but it's just the way it's panned out that I haven't been able to ride him," Byrne said.
"After I beat him on Snippets' Land at Caloundra when Jeff (Lloyd) rode him, I knew Jeff would have to ride Tyzone in this race and Tony asked me if I could ride I'm A Rippa. It's unfortunate for Jeff, but I've given him a lot over the years and it's good to get one back."
Having ridden I'm A Rippa previously, Lloyd knew he would fight back, but still thought he had him covered when Tyzone got up on the inside.
"He's tough isn't he?" he said of the winner.
Trainer Darren Weir watched the run of Lucky Hussler (8th) from afar and indicated he was happy enough to press on to the Glasshouse at Caloundra in a fortnight with the $2 million earner.