In-Form trainer Tony Gollan concedes heavy ground is always an unknown until a horse encounters it, but considers highly talented filly Isotope a good chance to cope.
Queensland’s top ranked filly is scheduled to have her first run in the Listed Darby Munro Stakes this weekend, where early markets have her marked second elect behind Private Eye.
It will be Isotope’s first run since losing jockey Ryan Maloney in January’s Magic Millions Guineas.
She has not trialled officially since, but did jump out at Doomben earlier this month, where she coasted along outside stablemate Jonker without being asked for an effort.
Gollan, who has already enjoyed a big autumn with Krone’s Group 1 Coolmore Classic success, said Isotope had taken significant improvement in the two weeks since that jumpout.
“She had a really good blow that day and you knew there was improvement there,” he said.
“She’s worked with Jonker a couple of times since and her work has been good and her recovery has improved a good couple of minutes off each gallop.
“She’s bang fit ready to go first up.”
Isotope has only been exposed to going no worse than a Soft 5 to this point, but has shown signs she will handle the heavier conditions set to confront her this weekend.
“You’re always a little bit unknown when you get into the very heavy region and I don’t think anyone can say their horses can get through it until you put them on it,” Gollan said.
“So that I am a little bit unknown with, but I know her love of that softer ground definitely suits her. She pulls up better from her runs and I think her action is even better on that sort of ground.”
Isotope has won four of her eight starts, including her Listed win over Golden Slipper runner-up Away Game at Doomben last December.
Gollan also has Jonker in The Galaxy at Rosehill, but will monitor track conditions before committing to a start.
If the track is well into the heavy range, Jonker, who broke Takeover Target’s Doomben 1200m track record late last year, will likely be saved for Queensland’s carnival.
Meanwhile, fellow Eagle Farm trainer Kelly Schweida is happy to see the rain tumbling down in Sydney for The Odyssey, who is an outsider for The Galaxy after failing first up behind Eduardo and Nature Strip at Randwick.
Schweida said he could find no abnormalities with the horse that day and is just hoping it was an anomaly, similar to the Toowoomba Weetwood last year.
“We were hoping he would get beaten four or five (lengths). He got beaten 11,” Schweida said.
“We got our pants pulled down, but they ran 55.2. He comes into the handicap a lot better with 52 kilos.
“He worked super (Tuesday morning). If he doesn’t perform Saturday, they are just too good for him.”