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The decision not to accept with original topweight Mishani Bullitt has proved a boost for Rancho Montoya in his comeback at Doomben.

Mishani Bullitt was handicapped at 59kg for the Three-Year-Old Handicap (1350m) but trainer Chris Anderson decided instead to run him at Doomben on Wednesday.

It meant weights for Saturday’s race went up 2.5kg with Rancho Montoya to now carry 56.5kg.

While Rancho Montoya’s trainer Stuart Kendrick would normally not be pleased about the weight rise it does have one major advantage.

Top jockey Damian Browne will now be able to ride Rancho Montoya.

Browne got down to 54.5kg last Saturday to ride the victorious Oink at Doomben but was distressed after the win and had to stand down.

He was fit to ride at the Sunshine Coast and Doomben during the week and will be at his best for Saturday’s meeting.

Kendrick said Browne was an important part of Rancho Montoya’s build-up to a possible trip to Melbourne this spring.

“Damian has been doing a lot of work with Rancho Montoya. I hope he can stick with him through the spring,” Kendrick said.

“Rancho Montoya had a freshen-up after his last run. He won a trial at Doomben when Damian went down to ride him.”

“I was pleased with the trial win and he looks on course for a good campaign.”

Rancho Montoya won on debut at Ipswich in June and finished second to Hong Kong-bound Ilovevegas at Doomben on July 8.

The colt raced like a horse wanting at least 1600m and Kendrick is looking ahead.

“I hope he runs well on Saturday and then we will step him up to 1600 metres,” Kendrick said.

“After that we can make up our minds about heading to Melbourne.”

Kendrick is looking at the Caulfield Guineas over 1600m or possibly longer races in the spring.

Rancho Montoya is by High Chaparral out of the Group One-winning mare Isolda.

“He is bred to get over a middle distance and we will just have to see which way we eventually go with him,” Kendrick said.

Kendrick has stakes-placed filly Italia Bella ready to resume in the next fortnight and has lofty ambitions.

“She is entered for races like the Golden Rose (at Rosehill) and the Thousand Guineas. Again we will have to see how she comes up before committing to a trip south,” Kendrick said.

 
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