Multiple premier Clifford Park jockey Ron Goltz spoke this week of his disappointment at not being able to snare a home-track win in the iconic Audi Centre Toowoomba Weetwood Handicap.
But he is no stranger to Clifford Park feature race success and recalls today some of those memorable victories in the lead-up to Saturday’s gala Weetwood race day.
Saturday’s nine-race Weetwood card is also highlighted by the TAB Toowoomba Cup and Toowoomba Truck Spares Pat O’Shea Plate which marks the start of Queensland’s new two-year-old racing season.
Ron has played a winning role in both events, including a lucky pick-up ride in the cup and a string of Fitton (now Pat O’Shea) Two-Year-Old Plate victories for legendary Toowoomba trainer Darryl Gollan.
“I won the 1995 Toowoomba Cup on Solar Circle for Jim Atkins,” Ron said.
“It was a great kick to ride winners anytime for JJ, but I wasn’t even meant be on Solar Circle in the cup that year. Jim told me on the Wednesday before the cup that Ken Waller was having trouble getting down to Solar Circle’s 51.5kg weight and could I be on standby for the ride if Kenny had to pull out. I said no to Jimmy. I wasn’t keen to waste for the ride and I actually had a holiday planned.
“But Ken got in my ear when he had to give up the ride and told me Jim was really keen for me to be on the horse and I’d be letting him down if I knocked it back. So I relented and finished up taking the ride and what a great result it finished up for us both.
“He was a double figure price and not a lot gave him a winning chance. I’ve got Ken and Jim to thank for winning a Toowoomba Cup.”
Ron’s connection to Darryl Gollan proved a two-year-old bonanza for the pair.
“Darryl and I had a lot of Fitton success together,” Ron said.
“Ziparipa and Big And Angry I remember were two of those winners. Darryl used to pride himself on winning the first two-year-old of the season, and he was just a genius at doing it time after time.
“I also won a Fitton on Paprika for Liam Birchley who I reckon alongside Laurie’s Lottery would be two of the best winners the race has produced.”
By Glen McCullough