Tony had close ties to the stable run by his father Darryl while he was growing up and he had been a keen follower of form to give his penchant for a punt some hope of success. Despite some words of warning from his dad Tony took out a trainer’s licence when he was 20. He had a team of four horses and the confidence of youth.
His first winner was Carbon Shadow at Clifford Park. Katsidis, by then a close mate as well as doing a lot of riding for Tony, was the jockey when the young Toowoomba trainer secured his first metropolitan winner with Nova Serrure. At that time Tony, aged 22, let his natural ambitious instincts rule his head. He set up a stable in Brisbane and enjoyed some early success and soon had a stable of 14 horses. When advised his visitor’s permit had elapsed Tony made the decision to set up base at the Gold Coast. After six months he headed back to Toowoomba and renewed his close ties to Darryl. He spent the next year soaking knowledge and made very close observations of the way legendary trainer Jim Atkins.
Tony revived his own training business in 2003 and stroke of good fortune gave his return some early momentum. Eureka Stud father-son combination Colin and Scott McAlpine gave him a Special Dane filly which they named Temple Spirit. The filly was a great success on the track, wining eight races. The association with Temple Spirit has continued with Gollan Racing enjoying tremendous success with of the mare’s foal Spirit Of Boom and Temple Of Boom. The latter lifted Tony’s profile on to the big stage when he won a Listed Race at Flemington on Oaks day in 2010. It also whet his appetite for the major carnivals.