Trainer Tony Gollan will have to find a new rider for Most Important in Brisbane’s premier sprint, the Group One Stradbroke Handicap, after Jim Byrne elected to go with the other local hope Crack Me Up.
Most Important was well beaten in the Group One Kingsford Smith Cup last start but Gollan said there were excuses.
“When we got him back to the stables we scoped him, as he had gone so bad. There was no blood or mucus but a lot of soil and sand in his throat,” Gollan said.
“He was racing with his mouth wide open when restrained and he must have swallowed half the track.”
“It was a case of him choking and he has done well since the run.”
Most Important was second to Impending in the Victory Stakes first-up and then a close-up eighth in the Group One Doomben 10,000 before the Kingsford Smith.
“I have seen Most Important do that before. Put in a bad one and come back with a very good run at his next start,” Gollan said.’
He said there were several options on the table for a replacement rider for Byrne.
“I just want to see how the final field is firming up before I get a replacement. There will be a few top riders about without mounts. I hope to make up my mind on Monday,” Gollan said.
Crack Me Up is back with Liam Birchley at Eagle Farm after a short stint with Bjorn Baker in Sydney where he won the Liverpool Cup in the autumn.
Birchley is training on a stay from a one-year disqualification imposed in Victoria but Crack Me Up has been returned to him for the winter.
“He galloped before the first race at Ipswich on Wednesday and I have been happy with him. Jim has taken the ride and he is regarded as a jockey who knows Doomben very well,’ Birchley said.