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VANNA GIRL SET TO SHINE IN HOLLINDALE

Wed 5 May 2021

By Glenn Davis

Trainer Toby Edmonds is confident Vanna Girl will fly the Queensland flag proudly as the mare attempts to break a drought for locally-trained horses in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

If Vanna Girl is successful, Edmonds - who trains in partnership with son Trent - will become only the second Queensland trainer to win the Hollindale Stakes since it was first run and won by the Graeme Begg-trained Eye Of The Sky in 1989.

Eagle Farm-based Chris Jordan holds the honour as the only Queensland-trained winner with Fulmonti in 2009.

“I don’t believe in races being hoodoos or anything like that,” Edmonds said.

“It’s just that we haven’t had horses good enough to win it yet.”

Edmonds is delighted with Vanna Girl, who is returning to her home track after finishing seventh to Nettoyer in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf at Randwick in mid-April.

The Queen Of The Turf was her third start at weight-for-age, with her best result a third to the Kerry Parker-trained Think It Over in the Group 3 Craven Plate at Randwick in October last year.

“I’d much prefer her to be in a handicap race but it is what it is,” Edmonds said.

“Her run in the Queen Of The Turf was quite good and she wasn’t beaten far.

“She’s going super and the home track will be an advantage.”

Vanna Girl was one of the stars of last year’s winter, and an encouraging run should see her next appearance come in the Group 1 Doomben Cup.

“I’ll see how she goes in the Hollindale first but if she races well, she’ll go on to the Doomben Cup and that’ll probably be it for the winter,” he said.

Vanna Girl is a $26 chance in early TAB markets for the Doomben Cup on May 22.

The Gold Coast track was rated a Heavy 8 at acceptance time, but Edmonds believes the track will imorove sharply with fine weather forecast after rain fell on Wednesday.

The daughter of Husson is closely related to three-time Group 1 winner Naturalism and Crystal Palace, who won the Group 1 Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm in 1997.

The mare will also be looking to break another drought of sorts, with only five females having claimed the Hollindale.

Kiwi raider Melora was the first in 1999, followed by Shez Sinsational (2012), Lights Of Heaven (2013), Streama (2014) and Oregon’s Day (2018).