Hollowlea raced into contention for the million dollar Group One Caulfield Guineas with a brilliant win in tonight's Group Two Bill Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley.
The classy son of Hidden Dragon made it two stakes wins in three runs when he came darting through on the inside of runners to win in dashing style.
Co-trainer Terry O'Sullivan praised Blake Shinn for an excellent ride and said the proven group winner earned his place in the field in the Guineas.
O'Sullivan, who prepares the gelding in partnership with his daughter Karina, was backing Hollowlea up after his close up sixth in last Saturday's Caulfield Guineas Prelude.
"He ran really well at Caulfield the other day," O'Sullivan reported. "It was a very, very firm track at Caulfield and I don't think that helped him let down as well as he could."
Hollowlea"He still only finished two lengths away and I think the quick back up helped him."
"He was a little bit revvy early on, but he's settling better with each start he has. He's getting calmer and he's better at the races."
"I thought it was a sensational ride of Blakes tonight. Once again you can't help but reiterate how great that good barrier draw is."
"It makes a massive difference. He got that lovely run and he never left the fence. I thought it was a bit tight when they first straightened up, but he found the hole and charged through."
The Caulfield Guineas in 15 days time will almost certainly be Hollowlea's next start.
Hollowlea"We'll sit down and have a think about it," O'Sullivan said. "It's obviously going to be a tougher race than tonight's was but he couldn't have done anything more than he did tonight."
"We'll be giving it a hell of a lot of thought."
O'Sullivan said he didn't think his latest stable star would handle the distance of the VRC Derby.
"I think if we get through to the Guineas, I think that will be his program well done and he can have a nice spell after that."
Hollowlea is another bargain stakes winner purchased by as a yearling from a Magic Millions Yearling Sale by Kingsley Peach.
He and his wife Evelyn paid $36,000 for Hollowlea at last year's Gold Coast Yearling Sale. They race the classy galloper with Terry and Robyn O'Sullivan.
"He is (a bargain buy) now isn't he," O'Sullivan noted. "You never know when you buy them."
"Kingsley found him at the sales. We had a look at a few horses as we always do and we liked the horse."
Terry O'Sullivan"Kingsley slipped in and grabbed him and bloody pleased he did," he added.
Hollowlea is the second stakes galloper produced by his dam, the Sydney winning Scenic mare Cabaret Girl.
As well as tonight's group winner she is the dam of the twice Brisbane stakes placed and seven time winning Made of Gold mare Dance Girl Dance.
Cabaret Girl, who won three races to 1400 metres, is a full sister to the Caulfield stakes winner Panorama Heights.
Hollowlea's sire Hidden Dragon is represented by five two-year-olds at October's Magic Millions National Horses in Training Sale.
The cream of his latest yearling crop will also go under the hammer at the famous Gold Coast sales ring at sales between January and June.