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Jim Byrne to be reunited with Barbie

Leading Brisbane jockey Jim Byrne will be reunited with one of his favourite horses, Outback Barbie, in the Tea Rose Stakes at Randwick.

Byrne won the Listed Calaway Gal Stakes on Outback Barbie and was aboard her when she copped the backwash of severe interference before finishing third in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January.

Since then Outback Barbie has had two campaigns in Sydney where she has been ridden by Corey Brown, Joe Moreira, and James McDonald.

The filly will run in the Group Two Tea Rose (1400m) on Saturday and McDonald was again expected to be aboard.

After finding out McDonald was committed to a runner for trainer Chris Waller, Gollan decided to go with Byrne for Outback Barbie.

“Jim has a very high opinion of her. He has had two race rides on her for a win and an unlucky third,” Gollan said.

“But he has also ridden her in her trials and jump-outs so he knows her very well.

“Jim has been wanting to get back on her in a race and this is his chance.”

Among Outback Barbie’s rivals will be New Zealand filly Santa Catarina who has arrived in Sydney.

Santa Catarina is trained by Stephen Marsh for Lib Petagna who has enjoyed Group One success in Sydney with Lucia Valentina and Sofia Rosa.

“She’s travelled very well and ate well last night, and she seems pretty bright in herself,” Marsh told NZ Racing Desk.

“If she can get the right draw and take a good position she will get her chance. She will improve again with the run, but this will tell us exactly where we are with her.”

Marsh, who is yet to lock in a rider, said Santa Catarina was likely to have a brief spring campaign in Sydney.

“If she runs well, she will carry on to the (Group One) Flight Stakes in two weeks’ time and win, lose or draw in that she will come home,” Marsh said.

“If she doesn’t run up to expectations, we will head back and get our spring campaign back on track in New Zealand.”

Gollan’s other leading three-year-old, Ef Troop, will run in the Group Two Danehill Stakes over the straight 1200m-course at Flemington on Saturday with Damien Oliver to ride.

“You don’t need me to tell you how good a rider Damien is and his opinion of Ef Troop up the straight six will be interesting,” Gollan said.

Ef Troop trialled in Sydney last week, leading all the way to beat Group One-winning mare and Everest contender English.

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