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Image: Darren Winningham
Antino will have his second Melbourne run when he heads to Sandown on Sunday.

Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan is looking forward to a change of fortune at the second outing of Antino in Melbourne.

Antino heads to the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m) at Sandown on Sunday after a luckless fourth at Flemington on September 16 at his Melbourne debut.

A winner of eight of his previous nine starts in Queensland, Antino was blocked for a run in the straight before flashing home late to run fourth, beaten just over a half-length.

It was the first time in those nine starts that Antino had finished out of the placings.

Gollan said that despite Antino’s defeat, the gelding had taken a lot of improvement from the run and was looking forward to seeing the gelding on the big Sandown track with its long run home.

“He’s a lot better horse going into this second-up run than what he was first-up,” Gollan told RSN.

“It was his first time out of his comfort zone away from home and it was a lot for him to take in.

“His coat has really cleaned up now and he’s looking really well.

“He’s done some nice work at Flemington and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing him stepping out on Sunday.”

Blake Shinn takes over on Sunday replacing James Orman who had ridden the gelding in all of his previous 10 starts.

Gollan is not shying away from plans to run Antino in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 14.

But as Gollan knows, plans in racing can change quickly.

“Something right out of left field would have to happen to change my plan,” Gollan said.

“I’m really happy with his preparation, even though he was defeated first-up, he was still very good.

“We have seen back home in Brisbane, as he builds into his preparation, that’s when he gets right up to the mark, and he is quite impressive.

“We haven’t seen him up to that mark yet in Melbourne.

“If he can improve off the outing on Sunday, then he should be in really good shape come the Toorak.”

 
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