Tony Gollan is keeping a close watch on track conditions for evergreen sprinter Just Orm ahead of his scheduled clash with Alligator Blood at Doomben.
The weather bureau’s forecast of up to 20 millimetres of rain failed to eventuate on Friday with the track rated a soft 5.
Just Orm has won twice on soft tracks but Gollan is wary of starting the seven-year-old on genuinely rain-affected going.
“He’s a soft six or better horse,” he said.
“Good ground suits him much better than soft ground so if it’s a six or better he’ll run, if it’s a seven or worse he won’t.”
Just Orm has been ridden to victory at his past two starts at Doomben by Ryan Maloney who will relinquish the ride on Saturday to renew his lethal partnership with Group One winner Alligator Blood in the XXXX Dry Open Quality (1110m).
With Maloney unavailable, Gollan has booked Robbie Fradd to ride Just Orm.
“Robbie’s style of riding will suit Just Orm beautifully,” Gollan said.
“He’s drawn a good gate so he’s going to get a lovely run. He just needs the weather gods to be in his favour.”
Gollan believes races in the 1000m to 1110m distance range are the “sweet spot” for Just Orm, who is on the third line of betting at $6 with TAB fixed odds.
“He’s a really big top-three hope in this race but I couldn’t tip anything to beat Alligator Blood,” he said.
“He’s a deserved favourite in the race and he’s going to be a tough nut to crack.”
One punter is keen to take on Alligator Blood, splurging $10,000 on The Odyssey at $5, which saw his price shorten to $4.60.
The Odyssey is the likely leader after drawing perfectly in barrier one and has an outstanding record on wet tracks with three wins and a second from four starts.