Whilst the admiration for Doomben will play into her hands in the short-term, the latter races in the revised winter program will see her head to Eagle Farm – a track where she has never tasted success.
“I actually don’t (think she should be favourite), her Eagle Farm form is not that great, even though it is a little bit circumstantial,” Gollan said.
“She’s had four runs on the track now so she’s starting to get a bit of a pattern and it’s not kind to her record.
“She’s quite a consistent horse at other venues she’s been to, but Eagle Farm just has not been a happy hunting ground at all for her.
“If she doesn’t fire this prep at Eagle Farm, I’ll be starting to really worry about that track for her going forward.”
On the flipside, stable mate Vega One seems to relish the Eagle Farm track, having raced there three times for two victories – including the $250,000 Gateway, which automatically qualified him for the Stradbroke.
The four-year-old gelding returned to the races last Saturday at the Sunshine Coast over 1000 metres, with an eye-catching albeit controversial ride from star apprentice Baylee Nothdurft, whose tactics came under the microscope of stewards post-race.
Tactics aside, it was a brilliant first-up effort from a horse that will be better for the run and looking for more distance as his preparation progresses.
“His preparation dates haven’t changed either, just the races have changed,” Gollan said.
“He was going to go first-up into the Victory Stakes last weekend, but to kick off at 1000 metres in a handicap with a big weight – his run was very good.
“He’ll follow a full traditional run now, going the fortnight-fortnight starting with the BRC Sprint over 1200 and then the Victory Stakes into the Stradbroke.
“He’s the opposite to Outback Barbie, he takes a real liking to those sand-profile tracks, the big tracks like Eagle Farm and the Sunshine Coast.”