Liam Birchley has already celebrated success in New Zealand’s richest race and he’s ready to go again – this time with a Hallmark Stud graduate - Hardline (pictured here as a yearling).
The Eagle Farm trainer produced Sister Havana to win in 2010 having gone close the previous year with runner-up Sarge In Charge and he has plans for another raid on the Listed Karaka Million on January 25.
Birchley has his Doomben debut winner Hardline heading toward the Ellerslie feature. “He’ll be coming over and we’ve had a bit of luck over there in the past,” he said.
“I’m waiting to see if the horse will be flying out of Sydney or Brisbane and if it’s Sydney then I might give him a run down there before he goes over.”
Hardline was purchased by Birchley for $130,000 out of Hallmark Stud's Select Sale draft at Karaka earlier this year after the farm had bought the Showcasing youngster for $43,000 as a weanling.
“I’d seen photos of him and he was definitely on our short list to inspect at the sale,” Birchley said.
“When I did see him I thought he was the best colt in the sale – he was a stand out.”
From a half-sister to the dual Group One winner Perlin (Underwood Stakes, Doomben Cup), Hardline won at the first time of asking last Friday at Doomben where he missed the jump from his outside gate.
He was forced to work hard to get close to the pace and rallied strongly for rider Damian Browne to score by three-quarters of a length.
“It was a pretty good effort and you don’t often see what he did often – very happy with him,” Birchley said.