Trainer Liam Birchely’s confidence of winning the Group 3 $125,000 XXXX Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday was boosted with the booking of top local rider Damian Browne.
Browne is regarded as one of the best riders of the Corbould Park track and Birchley was delighted that he decided to stick with Crack Me Up after the pair finished second to Religify in the Listed $100,000 The Wayne Wilson (1600m) at Doomben on June 10.
“Damian is a top class rider anywhere but at the Sunshine Coast he is worth a few extra lengths,” Birchley told AAP.
“Naturally he is chased by a lot of people for rides at the track. To have him stick with Crack Me Up is a boost.”
Birchley also said that the Crack Me Up would be better suited back against his the three year olds in the Sunshine Coast Guineas and the form out of the Wayne Wilson against the older horses was strong with the winner Religify going on to win the Listed $100,000 G.H. Mumm Quality (1615m) at Doomben on June 24.
“The form out of that race has stood up with Religify winning again in stakes company last week,” Birchley said.
Browne will have to be at his best if he is to win his third Sunshine Coast Guineas in four years after Crack Me Up was given no favours at the barrier draw and looks likely to jump from gate thirteen in the eighteen horse field.
“He has raced well here before and he ran against the older horses last start at Doomben and ran well,” Browne said.
“He’s drawn a little bit wide and we’ll probably need a touch of luck but I’m hoping he’ll run well.”
“I’ve won it a couple of times but it would be nice to win another one.”
Browne won the 2014 Sunshine Coast Guineas on the Robert Heathcote trained Hopfgarten and can make it back to back wins after collecting the trophy last year on the Mike Moroney trained Tivaci.
Crack Me Up is well in contention in the betting for the Sunshine Coast Guineas and is marked at $6 with Ladbrokes.com.au behind the well supported favourite Acatour at $3.20 and the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained My True Love at $4.60.