Tony Gollan has never won a Stradbroke but believes Vega One can break his drought after the gelding’s victory in the Magic Millions Cup at the Gold Coast.
Ridden by Michael Rodd, Vega One, the $3.30 favourite, defeated Redouble ($18) by a half length, denying the runner-up back-to-back wins in the Cup.
Gollan won’t be tempted to campaign with Vega One in Sydney during the autumn carnival, preferring to spell him after Saturday’s win.
“I really want to win the Stradbroke. It’s a race I’ve never won but he’s a really good horse and think he’s the one who can do it,” Gollan said.
“He’s ballot-free for the Stradbroke after winning his last start at Eagle Farm so I can put him away and map out a good program for him for the winter.
“There’s no pressure on me now to make the race and I’ve just got to get him back in this shape or better.”
Gollan’s best result in the Stradbroke Handicap was a second placing with Temple Of Boom in 2014.
While Vega One will be tackling stronger company next campaign, Gollan believes he is capable of handling the challenge.
“I really feel he can make a presence in the winter because he loves Eagle Farm,” he said.
“He handles wet ground or dry ground. He loves 1400m with speed on and you need those sort of horses for a G1 Stradbroke.”
Rodd said the script didn’t quite go to plan when he was trapped wide but was impressed with Vega One’s finishing sprint.
“Mid race between the 800m and 600m he wanted to get going a bit early so I had to bring him back and settle him,” Rodd said.
“He’s a horse that needs a bit of caressing but one who’s building into something that could be quite good.
“I’d love to ride him a bit quieter. I think the quieter you ride him the harder he will hit the line.”