Trainer Liam Birchley’s decision to remove blinkers proved a master stroke when Blueberry Hill claimed the Gai Waterhouse Classic at Ipswich on Saturday.
Birchley, who was runner-up in the Listed Eye Liner Stakes with Beckham, landed the quinella in the 1350-metre Listed feature when Blueberry Hill downed stablemate Elusive Catch by a long neck.
“It was a good result to take the blinkers off but I was a bit worried when she was pushed wide on the home turn,” Birchley said.
“But she was full of running at the finish and hopefully this will give her a lot of confidence.”
Birchley was also confident Elusive Catch would run a big race after the track was downgraded to a soft 5.
“When the downgrade came it was in her favour,” he said.
Blueberry Hill (pictured on the Water Walker) has always shown ability but she hasn’t won since the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doomben in May last year.
“I brought her back slowly this time and when she was ready to go she had two runs but got cramped up both times,” he said.
Birchley isn’t sure if she’ll start but is considering backing her up in the Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara at Eagle Farm next Saturday.