Pop ‘N’ Scotch has posted several positive results between lacklustre performances this time, and trainer Liam Birchley is hopeful a step up to two miles in Saturday’s Listed Queensland Cup on the Sunshine Coast is precisely what the four-year-old is searching for.
Pop ‘N’ Scotch began his racing career under the guidance of John Thompson but was purchased and transferred to the care of Birchley following the liquidation of Nathan Tinkler’s Patinack Farm operation.
Having charged home to win the QLD Times Provincial Final (2150m) on June 13th before failing to make anything of an impact in the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2400m) most recently, Birchley told AAP he thought the Husson gelding would have been far-more competitive in black type company at this point of his campaign, but is hopeful of a positive result in the 2015 Queensland Cup.
“I must admit I would have thought he would have done a lot better by now,” Birchley said.
“But to be fair he has continually run into tracks which haven’t suited him or races which have not been run to suit.
“You can only make so many excuses for horses but in his case they have been genuine.
“His win in the Ipswich race was outstanding, so he can do it.”
Confident Pop ‘N’ Scotch can handle heavy tracks, Birchley remains wary of the general conditions of the Sunshine Coast track should, particularly if the Caloundra areas continues to experience rainfall.
“Pop ‘N’ Scotch can handle soft going but what worries me is if you get a gluey track which sometimes happens when the Sunshine Coast gets a lot of rain,” Birchley said.
“This will probably be his last run before a spell and we will be able to give him a good break before deciding and which way to go with him.”
Pop ‘N’ Scotch has won four of his nineteen career starts so far; finishing in the minors on a further three occasions.
Allocated the ideal barrier 5, Pop ‘N’ Scotch has been confirmed to be partnered by in-form hoop Paul Hammersley in the 2015 Queensland Cup.