Hollerlujah set for The Showdown at Caulfield

Henry Dwyer would love it if all horses translated their sales complex behaviour to the racetrack as well as Hollerlujah , one of the favourites for Saturday’s The Showdown at Caulfield.

It was this time last year that the Ballarat trainer bought the daughter of Holler and Littlemiss Sandown for $46,000 at the Inglis Gold Yearling Sale and he vividly recalls when he liked about her.

“Nothing stood out about her but she was a nice, athletic filly who had a great attitude,” Dwyer said.

“That’s been the best side of her the whole way through. She’s just been a very professional, bombproof filly who knows her job and has a real crack.”

Hollerlujah got her career off to the perfect start with victory in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Rush (1000m) at Bendigo on April 2.

She is now one of the favourites for Saturday’s $1 million The Showdown, a race for products of Victorian-based stallions, and is in line to present Dwyer with another big payday by a horse bought out of the Gold Sale, the 2022 version of which was held on Thursday.

If Not Now When (Artie Schiller), a $15,000 purchase, also won the VOBIS Gold Rush on debut, while Je Suis Tycoon (Written Tycoon) won a VOBIS Gold Strike at Warrnambool after being bought for $40,000.

Lucky Liberty (Statue Of Liberty), a $17,000 yearling who won six of 17 starts and $285,000 in stakes, is another horse Dwyer bought out of the Gold Sale.

Dwyer therefore has fond memories of the Gold Sale and the fact Hollerlujah was offered by the El-Fahkri family’s Noor Elaine Farm, at Euroa, only enhanced his interest in the filly.

“I’ve had other horses for Akram and his family – Asfoora was Stakes-placed last prep – and they breed a lot of tough, colonial-style horses.

“They bred another horse that won the Gold Rush, The Big Dance, and I regularly buy horses off them.”

Hollerlujah, the only Gold Sale graduate engaged in The Showdown, is the fifth-named foal from the Encosta de Lago mare Littlemiss Sandown.

The first was Baligari (Purrealist), who counted three Adelaide wins among his four career victories, Constant Flight (Written Tycoon) won nine of 26 including four city races in Queensland, Helmaz (Helmet) is a city winner in Melbourne, while Misslittleturf (Turffontein) is the only non-winner.

Dwyer was pleasantly surprised to see Hollerlujah storm over the top of her rivals at big odds at Bendigo knowing how much improvement there would be to come out of that race.

“The Gold Rush was a warm-up run for us to tell if she was good enough and she passed that with flying colours,” he said.

“Saturday looks a similar field to what she beat at Bendigo and I always felt that she’d be the horse to come out of that race with the most improvement.”

Mitch Aitken, who rode Hollerlujah at Bendigo, retains the ride for The Showdown, in which Hollerlujah has drawn barrier 12 in the 14-horse field.

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