Claiming apprentice Luke Tarrant will replace senior rider Damian Browne on Rocket To Glory at Doomben to give the consistent sprinter some weight relief.
Rocket To Glory carried 58.5kg to beat his Tony Gollan-trained stablemate The Storeman at the Gold Coast two weeks ago, giving his rival 4kg.
Tarrant’s 1.5kg allowance in the Qantac Open (1200m) on Saturday when they meet again means Rocket To Glory will carry 57.5kg, a differential of 3.5kg.
Gollan is keen to stretch Rocket To Glory back out to 1400m this campaign.
“I have a clear view of what I want to do with this horse. I think he has matured enough to be a horse an apprentice can handle,” Gollan said.
“I think his days as a 1000-metre horse are over and I am keen to get him out to 1400 for a race like the Magic Millions Cup in January.”
“There is a 1350-metre race in a couple of weeks and if he goes well in it, there are a lot more options for us coming into the summer racing.”
Originally with John Manzelmann in Mackay, Rocket To Glory was always going to be hard to place later in his career because he won two feature races as a juvenile.
The now five-year-old has been top weight in more than 60 per cent of his races but Tarrant will be only the second apprentice to ride him in 38 starts.
Despite the big weights Gollan has been able to place Rocket to Glory to win five races in city class.
In all, Rocket To Glory has won 11 races and $634,000 prize money, a marvellous return on the $20,000 he cost as a yearling.
The gelding is owned by a syndicate which includes Manzelmann’s’ wife Stacey and a group of friends from Longreach in western Queensland.
While happy with Rocket To Glory, Gollan is not discounting the chances of The Storeman who will again be ridden by Brisbane’s premier rider Tim Bell.
“He has been a run behind Rocket To Glory all campaign but I think he is at his best now,” Gollan said.
Gollan also has Gundy Son in the race for which the Helen Page-trained Rudy is favourite.