Liam Birchley’s happy knack of taking the right horse away to carnivals continued when Pepperano won the Subzero Handicap at Flemington on Thursday.
Queensland’s expected win in the Oaks for Sunshine Coast trainer David Vandyke and Yankee Rose failed to materialise, but Birchley capitalised on one of the minor prizes on the day.
The race, restricted to grey horses, was picked by Birchley as a segue for Pepperano to run on Magic Millions day in January.
Birchley said he had run second in the race on two previous occasions.
“She’s a big brute of a thing and she really puts in,” the trainer said. “She hasn’t run a bad race this time in. This race wasn’t really on the radar, but we had time to race (in Melbourne) and come back to the Magic Millions.”
Birchley is undecided which race to tackle on MM day, with the QTIS, and Fillies and Mares races, both worth $1 million, at the top of his thinking.
“She’s been ultra-consistent this prep. It’s really satisfying to come down and win a race over the carnival, and I’m rapt for the owners.”
Pepperano had some of the Darren Weir magic helping her on Thursday, as she had been stabled with Australia’s record-breaking trainer since going to Victoria.
“He did everything possible for me,” Birchley said.
Like many Queensland-based runners, Pepperano was pre-trained atWashpool Lodge. Head over to view Washpool Lodge’s ‘Stars‘ and see what other outstanding graduates we have produced.