Tony Gollan wants one better with Zoustyle

Queensland trainer Tony Gollan concedes his sprinter Zoustyle will have a tough task beating Giga Kick when they meet at Moonee Valley.

The Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) on Saturday will see Zoustyle, second in the sprint 12 months ago, tackle Giga Kick and five other rivals, including last year’s nemesis Rothfire.

“I don’t know whether he can beat Giga Kick,” Gollan told RSN.

“Either him or I Wish I Win, they’re probably Australia’s best horses at the moment.

“They can do things possibly other horses can’t do, but if he does have a sweet spot my horse, it’s probably 1000 metres around Moonee Valley.

“These turning tracks suit as he’s a horse that can quicken nicely around bends.

“He will get his chance to run well, but we’re under no illusions just how tough it will be.

There are others in there like Imperatriz, a good horse and Rothfire, who is going very well also.”

After a solid spring campaign last year in Melbourne that saw Zoustyle finish second or third in all four starts, the autumn was not as good for the ageing sprinter.

After a first-up fifth in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Sandown in February, Zoustyle failed to show his best in two subsequent outings.

Gollan said the first-up Oakleigh Plate effort flattened Zoustyle.

“He always seems to fire up in the spring and summer and his autumn and winters are not quite as good,” Gollan said.

“He seems to be back in really good shape. His jump-outs and trials have been terrific, and he seems ready to rock ‘n’ roll this week, which he will need to be as it is a very strong race.

“He’s settling in the barriers now. Last year he was a bit fractious in the barriers and I was starting to get a bit concerned, but he seems in a really good place this year.

“He’s stepping out well and still has his customary speed.

“What we saw with him last spring was that really good tenacity. When things got tough, he kept fighting to the line, even though he wasn’t winning.

“I’m pretty positive that we will see something like that again on the weekend.”

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