The lure of a Magic Millions windfall will keep brilliant sprinter Zoustyle to only a brief cameo appearance during the spring.
Trainer Tony Gollan is mindful the racing career of Zoustyle hangs by a thread after the gelding suffered a bleeding attack when he finished a first-up seventh in the Group Three Maurice McCarten Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill in March.
“Obviously there’s no room for error having had a bleeding attack in Sydney but he’s doing everything the way I’d want him to,” Gollan said.
With a permanent ban from racing imposed if he suffers another bleeding attack, Zoustyle’s return to racing in a 900 metre open handicap at the Gold Coast on Saturday is likely to be his only start during the spring.
“He’s arguably going as good as I’ve ever had him, if not better,” Gollan said.
“Whatever can beat him there will really earn their stripes because he’s going great.”
Gollan’s long-term ambition with Zoustyle is to earn a start in the Magic Millions Snippets (1200m) at the Gold Coast in January.
Because Zoustyle did not go through the Magic Millions sale ring he will have to win the Falvelon Quality at Eagle Farm in December to gain a wildcard entry into the Snippets.
“You might only see him just the once this spring before he has a short break and we embark on a summer campaign that’s tailored to earning a wildcard into the Millions,” Gollan said.
Zoustyle was at his dynamic best when he won an 840 metre Doomben barrier trial last Tuesday in fast time.
“His work has been really nice all prep and you’re seeing that flow on to the trials,” Gollan said.
“I know it was only a trial and we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves but it was a pretty sharp field and he made light work of some nice horses.
“He’s right on song for where he needs to be.”