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Last season, as an apprentice, Baylee Nothdurft took out both the Brisbane Jockey Premiership titles … the first apprentice to do so since Zac Purton and Michael Rodd did so all those years ago. Towards the end of the season, Nothdurft smashed his jaw and when he resumed riding, now as a senior jockey, he had to take time to get back up to speed. So how are things going now, three months out of his apprenticeship.

“I started off pretty good when I came back after the broken jaw,” said Nothdurft. “I think I rode something like eight winners out of my first ten rides or something ridiculous like that.

“It’s gone along ok since then. My weight has been a bit of a struggle. That has been a slow process. I’m still trying to get the weight down. Once it comes down, I’ll be back in the full swing of things.

“I am still trying to spread myself around a bit more than I did before when I was attached to the Tony Gollan stable as an apprentice.

“I’m a stable rider for Tony at the moment and I really appreciate his support.” (Eight of Nothdurft’s last ten winners have come from the Gollan yard … the other two were for his old boss Lindsay Hatch). I also do ride a lot of work for other trainers though … for Robert Heathcote and the Steven O’Dea / Matt Hoysted partnership and Desleigh Forster … and I go down to the Gold Coast to do trails for Michael Costa and Toby and Trent Edmonds.

“So, in terms of my opportunities at the moment, it sort of all depends on what weight the horses get. I’m just chipping away at it all.”

That support from Tony Gollan is very much in evidence again today at Doomben. Of his eight rides on the card Nothdurft has seven rides for Gollan. The other is for the Steven O’Dea / Matt Hoysted training partnership.

Prime interest amongst the Gollan runners today should focus on Isotope in race two. The Deep Field filly, who finished second to Rothfire in the Champagne Classic over the Winter Carnival, has had two trials and returns to race action after a five-month layoff.

“She has had two trails and a jump-out,” confirmed Nothdurft. “She has done really well. Gate eight carrying 59kg makes it a task.

“She probably deserves the weight. She is the class horse in the race. If she gets the right run in the race she should be winning … just where we get to in the run might determine where we finish.

“She is not fully wound up yet. This is a long way off from her Grand Final so she has got good improvement in her, but she will still race well and she is there to win.”

That Grand Final will come on Magic Millions day.

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