Talented mare Isotope was about to board a float back home to Queensland before someone noticed something wasn’t quite right. It ended up saving her life.
Former NRL player turned corporate high-flyer Brian Siemsen thought Isotope’s winning comeback from her fall as a hot favourite in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas was something to behold.
But even it won’t compare with her comeback from a near-death colic attack which saw her just one hour from dying on a float.
Siemsen, now the co-founder of the highly successful Black Soil Bloodstock has revealed a phone call to trainer Tony Gollan saved Isotope’s life in June as he prepares for her return to racing in the Listed Nudgee Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
“She was down in Hawkesbury for a month to have a rest after the Sydney campaign and they were putting her on the float to bring her back to Queensland and one of the staff noticed something wrong with her and decided to give Tony a call,” Siemsen said.
“Literally they were loading her up that day, so Tony said get the vet to check over her then they were having emergency surgery within hours. If she went on that float she would have died before Newcastle.”
As the banner horse of their emerging business, it could be expected it was a bitter pill to swallow for Siemsen when the phone call came through that Isotope was going under the knife but he said it was more a sense of relief, knowing full well how close she came to death.
“Had she got on the float, she wouldn’t have been alive getting off the float so when we heard that news it was a case of ‘OK, she got it’ but it was touch and go for 24 hours,” he said.
“Keep in mind she just came off her win in the Darby Munro and arguably a great comeback story already after the Magic Millions debacle so we were thinking we were going to be having a belter of a season with her.
“To get that news was shattering and Miami Fleiss hadn’t really come onto the scene at that stage and Garibaldi was just finding his feet with that four or five-win run he had so she was the flag bearer and was putting us on the map early in our fledgling career.
“I guess the colic, while it was bad, she has been unbelievably well cared for and it shows you these guys know how to care for an animal.
“She was so young so there was always going to be plenty of racing in front of her.”
While Gollan and connections have an eye towards the Magic Millions on January 15, Siemsen said Saturday’s Nudgee Stakes is no barrier trial for the stakes-winning mare.
“There are some nerves, she has trialled up really well and Tony reckons she is bigger and better than what she was,” he said.
“She has drawn an absolute peach of a gate so you couldn’t ask for a better draw for her, she will get a really good, solid crack at them if (jockey) Ryan (Maloney) does his job.
“Everyone is pretty confident but there are certainly no early crows.”
The betting backs up Siemsen’s thoughts with Isotope backed from $3.60 to $2.60 as soon as markets opened with TAB.
Black Soil will also be represented in the same race by Miami Fleiss ($8) who is coming off a strong last-start win in the Listed Tattersall’s Classic at Eagle Farm.
Siemsen hopes the pair will be able to be split into different races come Magic Millions day with Gollan set to have a decision to make for the two mares.
Winning machine Garibaldi will also represent the distinctive black and white colours on Saturday in The Buffering (1350m) where he will look to land his first Stakes level victory against the likes of Apache Chase, Niccanova, Kementari, Tambo’s Mate and Soxagon.
Originally published as Isotope on verge of another remarkable comeback after almost dying from colic attack