Umberto to concentrate on Doomben

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March 9, 2018 - 10:00 AM

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Consistent galloper Umberto is likely to dodge a chance at a big prize money to try to end a frustrating run of seconds at Doomben.

The gelding is among the favourites for Saturday's Three-Year-Old Handicap (1350m) which looks to be the most competitive race on the program.

Umberto has won two of his nine starts but also run four seconds including his past three runs from a spell.

In each of those seconds he has run into some promising horses including Love and Rock It last Sunday at the Sunshine Coast.

Trainer Tony Gollan had the $125,000 QTIS Three-Year-Old Jewel (1200m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday week in mind for Umberto but has had to reconsider.

"I have always thought he was a good off-carnival type horse and the Jewel would suit him," Gollan said.

"But the wash-out at Doomben two weeks ago has thrown his campaign out of kilter. I think the 1350 metres on Saturday suits him better so I am leaning towards running him there and missing the Gold Coast.

"There is then another 1350 metre race for him at Doomben later this month."

Umberto is raced by two of Gollan's biggest clients, Mike Buys and Rob Willis, who also own Il Riccio.

"Umberto was unlucky at Caloundra last Sunday but it was great for us all when Il Riccio won later on the day," Gollan said.

"Il Riccio broke the course record at Ipswich when he won his maiden. He has had his problems since but he is smart."

Gollan has been back in form in the past week with Ponytales winning at Ipswich and now has 58 winners to be 23 clear of Toby Edmonds in the metropolitan trainers premiership.

His main focus on Saturday will be on Ef Troop and Outbark Barbie who contest the Todman and Reisling Stakes respectively at Randwick as lead-ups to the $3.5 million Golden Slipper two weeks later.