Liam Birchley has had plenty of past success in the Calaway Gal Stakes and the leading Brisbane trainer will be represented by both Flamenco and Sailor Gerri in the Listed event at Doomben tomorrow.
Birchley included Flamenco, Sailor Gerri and Sugar Hit in the acceptances for the Calaway Gal Stakes, but he revealed that Sugar Hit would not take her place in the field after drawing the outside barrier.
Flamenco and Sailor Gerri are both in contention for the $2 million Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast on January 10 and Birchley told Sky Racing HQ that he is happy to risk running the pair on the likely heavy track at Doomben tomorrow to give them a chance to qualify for the lucrative race.
“They will probably both go round,” Birchley said.
“We are running out of time for qualifying and they have both drawn reasonably well, which is very important at Doomben.
“They are unknown in the wet, but hopefully they can handle it to some extent.
“They are both quiet forward.”
Sailor Gerri made her first public appearance when she finished third in a barrier trial over 800 metres at Eagle Farm on September 9, but failed to fire in her racing debut when she finished sixth behind Wicked Intent in the Breakfast Creek Hotel Handicap (1050m) at Doomben on November 29.
Birchley believes that Sailor Gerri had plenty of excuses for her lackluster debut effort and he feels that she is capable of producing an improved performance in the Calaway Gal Stakes this weekend.
“Sailor Gerri had one run and she just didn’t end up with the best trip,” Birchley said.
“She got posted three wide facing the breeze and she just got a bit lost.
“She had shown quite a bit before that and I have put blinkers on her this weekend, so that should help.”
Flamenco will be making her racing debut in the Calaway Gal Stakes and has not trialed publically, but Birchley said that he has been impressed with everything that the Sequalo filly has done at home and he believes the juvenile is worthy of this opportunity in the Calaway Gal Stakes.
“She is definitely worthy of having a crack,” Birchley said.
“Some of these babies can have talent, but under race pressure some don’t stand up just through maturity.
“She has definitely gone well enough to warrant a run and I am just hoping for the best.”
Birchley is chasing his first win in the Calaway Gal Stakes since he took out the 2012 edition of the race with Missy Longstocking.