By Glenn Davis
All eyes will be on the skies in the lead-up to Saturday’s 10-race meeting at Doomben, which includes a highly-competitive QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (Race 7).
A number of horses look set to back-up from last weekend’s QTIS 3YO Jewel at Eagle Farm including third place-getter The Tax Accountant, Soxagon and Trail Of Glory.
Impressive maiden winner Millard Reaction looks set to make his Saturday metro debut, after putting his rivals to the sword over 1110m at Doomben on March 13.
Consistent gelding Al’s Kingdom and stablemate She Za Boss face a possible clash if rain doesn’t intervene.
Trainer Liam Birchley will closely monitor the weather before deciding if he’ll be double handed in the race.
“I accepted with both but I’ll wait and see what the track condition is like before making a decision whether they both run,” Birchley said.
“I’m just waiting to see if this rain that’s predicted comes.
“If it does, I probably won’t run Al’s Kingdom first-up in the wet.
“He’s only ever missed a place once in his seven runs and he’s very genuine.”
Al’s Kingdom and She Za Boss are both part-owned by Birchley’s biggest owner Mark McLean.
“Mark has been with me for about 10 years and he’s got shares in about 40 horses with me,” Birchley said.
McLean part-owns Birchley’s top sprinter, Crack Me Up who was named Queensland Horse Of The Year last season.
Birchley is undecided if Al’s Kingdom will progress towards the Brisbane winter carnival.
The son of Animal Kingdom has won two of his seven starts but hasn’t raced since finishing second to Ready For Danger in an 1800-metre Benchmark race at the Gold Coast in late December.
His two wins were at Doomben and the Sunshine Coast in the spring and it was at the Sunshine Coast when he missed a place for the first time in his career, finishing fourth on October 28.
She Za Boss ran second at the Sunshine Coast last Sunday and Birchley is keen to back her up if the rain comes.
The daughter of Rothesay won her maiden impressively at the Sunshine Coast at her previous start when she stormed home for a commanding victory.
“She’s only won one race but I’ll back her up if the track is wet,” he said.
“There’s no big plans with her at this stage and I’ll just let her climb the ladder first.”
Birchley also accepted with Darwin Cup bound Zahspeed in the Open Handicap (1350m).
Seven-year-old Zahspeed had his first start for Birchley enroute back to Darwin when he ran last at Eagle Farm on March 9.
He had previous stints with Kelvin Bourke, Danny O’Brien, Toby Edmonds, Robert Heathcote and Phillip Stokes and was trained by Gary Clarke when he claimed last year’s Darwin Cup.
“He’s headed back to Darwin for the Cup after a couple of runs here and I think he’ll find this race too short for him,” Birchley said.
Racing Queensland webnews March 27