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Derby start hinges on country gallop

A gallop on a Victorian country track will determine whether Mongolian Wolf heads to Brisbane for the Queensland Derby.

Mongolian Wolf will gallop at Coleraine on Tuesday and if he pleases trainer Darren Weir will head north for the Group One 2200m-race at Doomben on Saturday.

The three-year-old, who will be ridden by Damian Lane, will join Volatile Mix (John Allen) and Rockstar Rebel (Brad Rawiller) if he makes the trip.

Mongolian Wolf took out the Frank Packer Plate at Randwick in April before beating just two home in a 2000m three-year-old race at Caulfield on May 13.

That performance still has Weir searching for answers.

“He went terrible,” Weir said.

“It was possibly the wrong way to ride him.

“We probably should have let him be out the back, lob along and let him run home, but we took up a position thinking we could win the race and it didn’t work out.”

Weir said the gelding had worked well since and would head north he galloped well at Coleraine gallop.

Volatile Mix and Rockstar Rebel are already in Brisbane with Volatile Mix coming off a last-start second in the Grand Prix Stakes at Doomben on May 27.

Weir has some concerns with how Volatile Mix will handle the change of Derby venue from Eagle Farm to Doomben.

“If he had handled the corner a bit better last time he would have won,” Weir said.

“The negative with him is it’s not at Eagle Farm and it’s back to 2200 metres.”

Weir is likely to have three runners in Saturday’s Group One Stradbroke Handicap over 1350m.

Ulmann, to be ridden by Luke Nolen, will be joined by Burning Front and Rageese.

Burning Front will also need to confirm his place with a gallop at Coleraine on Tuesday while Weir will see how Rageese comes through his 11th placing in the Moreton Cup at Doomben on Saturday.

A winner of his last two starts over 1600m, Burning Front will be having his first attempt at Group One level on Saturday.

“He gets in with little weight and is a fit horse,” Weir said.

“He’s not going to get too many chances to run in a race like this again.”

Weir said Mongolian Wolf and Burning Front were booked to travel to Brisbane any time after Tuesday while he was still to sort out riders for Burning Front and Rageese.

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