Eagle Farm trainer Liam Birchley is talking up the chances of Havasay who is chasing his fifth win on the trot when he lines up in the Listed $100,000 Hogs Breath Café Australia Bribie Handicap (1050m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Havasay hasn’t raced since making it four wins in a row with his victory in a 1200m Doomben Handicap on September 2 but Birchley has primed the five year old for a slick first up performance with a barrier trial win over 900m at the Gold Coast on December 7.
“It took him a while to win a race. But now he has struck form I am confident he can go on with it,” Birchley told AAP.
“Not many horses win four races in a row anywhere.”
“But he really started to live up to the ability I always knew he had. He had a relatively light four-year-old season and it is paying off.
“Even as a two-year-old we thought enough of him to run him in some Listed races before he had won a race at all.”
Birchley is aiming to have Havasay peak on Magic Millions Day at the Gold Coast on January 13 and has to select one of two options, the $1m Magic Millions QTIS Open (1300m) or the $1m Magic Millions Cup (1400m).
“I really have to start him on Saturday the way the programming falls. I will probably accept in the Magic Millions QTIS race and Magic Million Cup with him,” Birchley said.
“Time is starting to run out and we will then have to find another race for him before the Millions day.”
Birchley is keen to see how Havasay handles the step up to Stakes company in the Bribie Handicap so as to get a good guide where the Rothesay gelding will be better placed in the future.
“It is consistently a strong race and it will give us a very good idea where we are at,” Birchley said.
Matt McGillivray will continue his association with Havasay who has drawn barrier eight in the fourteen horse Bribie Handicap field.
Handy five year old Stella Ombra scored a hat trick of wins before a spell but the Kelly Schweida trained gelding will have to overcome barrier thirteen if he is to keep his winning run intact.
Premiership leader Jeff Lloyd has secured the mount on Stella Ombra who has to carry the 59kg equal top weight with Pinch River (barrier 5, Ron Stewart).
Brisbane’s leading trainer Tony Gollan will saddle up Khalama (barrier 7) who is stepping up in class after winning a 1050m BenchMark 90 Handicap at Doomben on November 25 with Jim Byrne retaining the mount in the Bribie Handicap.
Final field for 2017 Listed Bribie Handicap (1050m)
|#||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||3x906x110x||PINCH RIVER||Robert Heathcote||Ron Stewart||5||59kg||94|
|2||9x4416111x||STELLA OMBRA||Kelly Schweida||Jeff Lloyd||13||59kg||94|
|3||296021245x||IRISH CONSTABULARY||John Symons & Sheila Laxon||Micheal Hellyer||11||58.5kg||93|
|4||06320×6779||STRATURBO||Gary Portelli||Damian Browne||9||57.5kg||91|
|5||4646x1111x||HAVASAY||Liam Birchley||Matthew McGillivray||8||56kg||88|
|6||26307×2503||BULLPIT||Toby Edmonds||Tegan Harrison||10||54.5kg||85|
|7||x111x5021x||ALL OVER BOSANOVA||Mel Eggleston||Luke Rolls||2||54kg||86|
|8||49x31153x1||KHALAMA||Tony Gollan||Jim Byrne||7||54kg||86|
|9||021×620111||TARZAN||Stuart Kendrick||Luke Tarrant||1||54kg||84|
|10||1111x1202x||INVINCIBLE EXPRESS||David Vandyke||–||12||54kg||83|
|11||305x1354x3||COLINELLE||Steven O’dea||Brad Stewart||3||54kg||79.5|
|12||x5328147x2||LAND OFFICE||Darryl Ward||Anthony Allen||4||54kg||79|
|13||5025126113||ZOUZOUKAKIA||Kevin Kemp||Michael Cahill||14||54kg||79|
|14||8088x90x36||FREQUENDLY||Les Ross||James Orman||6||54kg||72.5|