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Crack Me Up on target for Villiers

By Glenn Davis

Talented sprinter Crack Me Up will take a giant step towards a start in next month’s Group 2 Villiers Stakes in Sydney if he measures up in the Listed Recognition Stakes at Doomben on Saturday.

Trainer Liam Birchley has been forced to plot a Sydney course even though the four-year-old is eligible for the Magic Millions at the Gold Coast in January.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had to look at other alternatives because there’s nothing suitable for him at the Magic Millions between 1400 and 2200 metres,” Birchley said.

“At this stage he’ll run in the Brisbane Handicap over 1600 metres in two weeks and if his form is good enough he’ll go down for the Villiers.”

Crack Me Up made a big impression when he resumed with an eye-catching second behind Brooklyn Storm at Doomben on November 11.

It was the Mossman gelding’s first appearance since his brilliant win in the Listed Tattersall’s Mile (1600m) at Doomben on July 22.

Birchley, who is in New Zealand for the Ready-To-Run sales, has always had a big opinion of Crack Me Up.

He is normally reserved in his assessments of his horses but tipped a bright future for Crack Me Up after his earlier Stakes wins in the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas and Listed Dalrello Stakes as a two-year-old.

Crack Me Up was a $60,000 buy at the Magic Millions sales in 2015 and his record now stands at three wins and five placings from 17 starts.

Crack Me Up was runner-up to the Chris Waller-trained Religify in the Listed Wayne Wilson (1400m) at Doomben in June before claiming the Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) on July 1 during the Brisbane winter carnival.

“He went very well first-up and should nearly have won,” Birchley said.

“He’s returned well this campaign but he’s drawn barrier one.

“Normally you don’t complain about barrier one but he’ll need a bit of luck from that draw to get around them.”

Birchley is keeping a close watch on the Brisbane weather as he would prefer a dry track for Crack Me Up and stablemate Beckham.

“I haven’t spoken to Beckham’s owner yet so I’m not sure if he’ll start or not,” he said.

Doomben was still in the soft range following recent rain but will improve rapidly if good drying conditions prevail.

Racing Queensland webnews  November 23