Promising juvenile Hardline will arrive in New Zealand tomorrow ahead of his start in the 2015 Karaka Million at Ellerslie on January 26.
Birchley has been a regular visitor to New Zealand for the Karaka Sales that are held at New Zealand at the end of January every year and has often taken the advantage of the opportunity to run his horses in the Karaka Millions Race Day – the New Zealand version of Magic Millions Day at the Gold Coast.
Hardline stamped himself as a potential Karaka Millions contender when he won the Newstead Realty Handicap (1110m) on debut at Doomben on December 5 and Birchley told Sky Racing HQ that he was happy to have Hardline running in New Zealand’s richest race.
“He flies out tonight and gets there in the morning,” Birchley said.
“He is staying at Brendan Lindsay’s place and we are looking forward to it.
“We want to give him every chance and we sort of know a little bit about the logistics having been there a couple of times before.
“It is pretty much all done now and we just need to keep him ticking over and keep him happy.
“We are really happy with things the way that they sit.
“I have always sort of brought a couple in New Zealand and I’ve been going there for a lot of years now.
“I actually did a little bit of work there when I was younger and I’ve always got lovely horses out of the sale.
“It is good to have an incentive raceday.”
Hardline could finish no better than seventh when he had his second race start in the Multi Plate (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on January 3, but Birchley said that Hardline was caught in the worst part of the Rosehill Gardens track, which played with a significant on-pace bias, and he believes that the Showcasing gelding would have finished closer to the winner Giulietta with a bit more luck in running.
“Initially I was a bit concerned, but as the day wore on it was pretty plain that unless you were on the lead you didn’t have a chance and the wider you were the harder it was.
“His run ended up being very good and Damian said that if he had have gone inside and not outside he would have run second.
“That would have been a very good effort under the circumstances of the day.”
Hardline is currently available at Karaka Million odds of $8 and is on the fifth line of betting behind Maritimo ($4), The Justice League ($4.40), Windborne ($6.50) and Strata Lady ($7).