Gollan: Isotope ready for Away Game challenge in MM Guineas

Isotope is the favourite for the Magic Million 3YO Guineas
Isotope is the horse to beat in the 3YO Magic Million Guineas at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Isotope is ready for the $2 million Magic Million Guineas (1400m) and a past failure over the distance holds little concern, trainer Tony Gollan said of Saturday’s race.

Isotope is the $2.50 favourite with Sportsbet for the 3-year-old feature, ahead of Away Game ($3.80) and Forbidden Love ($5), with this trio the only runners in single digit odds.

The Deep Field filly has been in fine form so far this campaign, winning her last two races at Listed level, in the Mode Plate and Gold Edition Plate, justifying her $1.50 quote on both occasions.

Boasting a near perfect record of four wins and two seconds from seven career starts, the iron filly will attempt to again beat Away Game, a feat she achieved on December 19 at Doomben over 1200m.

In a glittering start to her career, the only time Isotope has missed a place was in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins as a two-year-old, over the 1400m. She finished 10th out of 18 runners, five lengths behind Rothfire, but that is no cause for concern according to Gollan.

“I’m as happy as I can be, I don’t see the trip being a problem,” he said.

“I’m happy with the distance, I’m happy with the barrier [and] all the rest of it.”

Away Game, trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, won the 2YO Gold Coast Magic Millions Classic last year and in a recent trial at the Gold Coast, beat home Isotope.

But Isotope did trial nicely, with Ryan Maloney restraining her throughout the running after jumping well, before finishing strongly, only a length off Away Game.

“She was good. She trialled like a filly who is ready for 1400,” Gollan said.

“She showed really good speed. When she stepped away, and [when] she steps away good like she did at the Gold Coast in the trial, then she can lead 1000m fields if she wanted to.

“I think the real quality of her is the way that she can switch off in the run, sit just behind speed and really chase.”

Drawn ideally in barrier 7, Gollan anticipates that his filly will settle three or four pairs back and take advantage of a strong tempo on the straight.

“I think she maps to get a pretty good run in that third or fourth pair and I’m sure she’s going to be strong down the centre of the track,” he said.

Gollan will also saddle reigning champ Outback Barbie, who is the current favourite in the Magic Millions QTIS Handicap, in an attempt to make it back-to-back wins in the race.

“She goes up in weight from last year which is makes it a little bit trickier, but she’s going probably equally as good I think,” Gollan said.

“Blinkers go on this time, we trialled her in blinkers the other day.

“I thought her trial the other day behind Jonker was really good, her work this morning (Tuesday) was great and I love her a month between runs, particularly down at the Gold Coast. I don’t think she’s ever run a bad race down here at the track.

“I guess on ratings and form, she’s probably got a fair bit on a lot of these.”

Isotope is the current favourite for the 3YO Guineas, while Outback Barbie also holds favouritism in the QTIS Handicap, with leading Australian racing betting sites.

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