By Glenn Davis
Tony Gollan’s focus is firmly on the big stage during the Brisbane winter with Stradbroke-bound Vega One and unbeaten youngster Isotope who both run at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
Vega One is topweight with 62kgs in the Open Handicap (1000m) and will be joined by stablemate Just Orm who also is resuming while Isotope tackles the QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap (1000m).
Brisbane's premier trainer has surprisingly decided against using a claiming apprentice on Vega One with the booking of stable rider Baylee Nothdurft who has outridden his claim.
“This is a very important race for Vega One as it’s a crucial stepping stone to the Stradbroke Handicap,” Gollan said.
“It’s a big weight but I didn’t want to use a claiming apprentice who doesn’t know him.
“He can be a hard horse to ride as he’s got a few tricks and Baylee knows him well.
“He needs to run as I want the Stradbroke to be his fourth run in.
“It’s not about what happens on Saturday. It’s more important he runs and I’ll be happy to see him hitting the line strongly.”
Vega One has not raced since winning the Magic Millions Cup at the Gold Coast on January 11 but has barrier trialled to prepare for his return.
His previous victory in The Gateway at Eagle Farm in December automatically qualified him for the Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on June 6.
Isotope, who also will be ridden by Nothdurft, is headed to the Group 1 J J Atkins at Eagle Farm on the same day as the Stradbroke Handicap.
Isotope, a $170,000 buy, wasn’t ready to run in the Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast in January so Gollan delayed her debut until earlier this month.
The daughter of Deep Field made a huge impression strolling home by 10 lengths over 1110 metres at Doomben.
“At this stage Isotope is running as she worked extremely well on Tuesday morning,” Gollan said.
“She’s taken a lot of improvement from her win and I think she’s going even better now.
“She’s a nice filly but I’m mindful she needs prizemoney to get into the bigger winter races.”
Isotope is being aimed at the Group 2 Champagne Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on May 22 before her ultimate goal in the J J Atkins which has been shortened to 1400 metres this winter due to the coronavirus restrictions.
Racing Queensland webnews - April 23