Trainer Liam Birchley is delighted that classy mare Liesele has drawn barrier five for the Travel Associates Classic (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday and rates his star galloper an excellent winning chance in the Listed event.
Birchley brought Liesele to Melbourne for the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and his decision to give the daughter of Exceed And Excel her maiden opportunity in Victoria immediately paid dividends when she won the Listed Alinghi Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield in impressive fashion on October 19.
Liesele was unable to make it back-to-back wins when she finished seventh behind Dystopia in the Group 3 Mumm Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on Crown Oaks Day but Birchley blamed the famous Flemington straight for that defeat and is confident that the six-year-old can return to the winners circle in Brisbane this weekend.
“It was a bit of a non-event and she never seemed to get into rhythm at any stage at Flemington,” Birchley told AAP.
“It’s a funny sort of situation with horses in straight races; they either handle it or they don’t and unfortunately she fell into the category that doesn’t.
“The alley is perfect for her because she likes to get a suck run in behind them and she’s got a good sprint at the end of her races.
“If she can be saved for one run at them in the straight she’s pretty hard to stop.”
Liesele was able to record her maiden black type victory in Melbourne but has been unable to break through for a win at Group or Listed level in Brisbane.
She finished second behind Zero Rock in the 2011 edition of the Travel Associates Classic but failed to fire when given the chance at Listed level in the Evergreen Turf Lightning Handicap (1000m) and PMP Limited Ascot Handicap (1200m) earlier this year.
Liesele made her Group racing debut in 2011 when she finished ninth behind Military Rose in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) and was far from disgraced when finishing fifth behind Howmuchdoyouloveme in the Group 3 W.J. Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm during the 2013 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Liesele is a clear favourite in Travel Associates Classic betting markets at odds of $3.50 but is expected to face stiff competition from Sam Kavanagh-trained Words Are Weapons ($4.80) and the resuming Discreet ($5).