By Glenn Davis
Premier trainer Tony Gollan believes an excellent first-up record and a perfect barrier should give Outback Barbie a slight edge over stablemate Vega One when the pair clash in the TAB BRC Sprint at Doomben on Saturday.
The 1350-metre Group 3 feature is the pipe-opener to the revised Brisbane winter program.
Outback Barbie, barrier three, has not started since winning the Magic Millions QTIS race at the Gold Coast in January while Magic Millions Cup winner Vega One (barrier 10) resumed with an eye-catching fourth to stablemate Just Orm at the Sunshine Coast on April 25.
Outback Barbie has started seven times at Doomben for three wins and two placings while Vega One’s record at the track stands at two wins and two seconds from five starts.
“It’s easier for one and harder for the other after the barrier draw,” Gollan said.
“Outback Barbie really likes Doomben and the good gate is a huge plus.
“She looks to get a really good run and she’s got a great turn of foot, she’s had two jump outs and she’s ready to run.”
Gollan believes Vega One still has a great chance of victory despite his outside gate.
“The draw makes it more difficult for Vega One and he’ll probably have to go back from the alley and get some cover,” he said.
“I don’t see the point in pushing forward on him, he’s going great but it’ll be harder for him to give them a start.
“Vega One likes bigger tracks like Eagle Farm and Caloundra where he can balance up but I’m not ruling him as he can still win.
“But if I had to choose, I’d just favour Outback Barbie as she never disappoints.”
Outback Barbie will be reunited with jockey Jim Byrne while stable apprentice Baylee Nothdurft retains the ride on Vega One.
Byrne is on the comeback trail following a second bout of surgery after breaking his left leg in a fall at Doomben in December.
He made a brief comeback at Eagle Farm on March 23 but the leg swelled up badly and required further surgery.
Outback Barbie and Vega One are likely to clash again in the Group 2 Victory Stakes in two weeks ahead their main target, the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on June 6.
Vega One automatically qualified for the Stradbroke after winning The Gateway at Eagle Farm in December.
Racing Queensland webnews - May 7