Kiaarn Holland


08 Apr 2014

She's been a constant in the recent evolution of six year-old sprint sensation Spirit of Boom and come race day in the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick on 12 April, 23 year-old track rider, Kiaarn Holland wants to share in more special times with her four-legged friend.

Together they’ve endured 12 months of near misses on the Australian sprint calendar, before finally saluting at the finish with a heart-stopping victory in the William Reed Stakes at Moonee Valley; the son of Sequalo breaking through for his maiden Group 1 success.

Post-race there was great fanfare among the Queensland connections of the horse and rightful admiration for Brisbane-based trainer Tony Gollan, but back at the stable there were also special moments savoured by horse and rider; contemplation on a job well done.     

“Spirit and his brother Temple of Boom are just so relaxed, they really are once in a lifetime type horses and so easy to work with,” confirmed 23 year-old Kiaarn.

“When we were in Melbourne I pretty much spent the whole day with Spirit, taking him for a walk, doing his work at the track, plus twice a week we’d head to the beach.

“He loves the variety, easily taking to that sort of thing and is literally jumping out of his skin when we hit the sand.”  



Until his more recent breakthrough win, Spirit of Boom’s consistency had netted 27 top four finishes in Stakes races, including back-to-back runner’s up performances in this preparation, to TJ Smith Stakes favourite Lankan Rupee.

However, Kiaarn sees a lot of similarities to another Queensland starter in the way that Spirit of Boom has come of age. The very same horse that relegated Spirit to an unlucky fourth in the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth late last year.     

“Spirit’s lead up runs remind me a lot of Buffering before he broke through for his first win and both Queensland horses undoubtedly have a genuine cult following among racegoers,” added Kiaarn. 

“Spirit’s proved to everyone he’s capable, his racing manners are so much better, he settles better and when you talk about a turn of speed, he can really rattle home!

“A win in the TJ Smith will confirm who is the best sprinter in Australia. He’s never run bad in Group 1 company and pulled up really well after the William Reid so is definitely going to be thereabouts at the finish.”  

And rest assured Kiaarn Holland is also a name to keep an eye out for in racing circles over coming years, with the former apprentice jockey holding aspirations on and off the track.

For now she’s intent on being the best trackwork rider possible, garnering as much racing knowledge from her boss, Tony Gollan, as he draws nearer to a maiden Queensland trainer’s premiership in 2014.

“Being able to run my own successful stable of champions would be a dream come true and I’d also like to move into the media side of the racing game, taking up a similar role to Bernadette Cooper who I think does a tremendous job in the greater promotion of the sport.”