Trainer Liam Birchley is set to break one of his golden rules and run Punishing and Pepperano from wide barriers at Doomben.
In the past, Birchley has been adamant he won’t start horses from outside gates at the tight-turning track.
“Statistics show it is very hard for them to win from out wide at Doomben,” Birchley said.
“But unless I come up with another idea I will have to run them.”
Punishing has drawn barrier 13 of 13 in Saturday’s Listed Phelan Ready Stakes (1050m) and Pepperano 15 of 17 in the Listed Gold Edition Plate (1200m).
Pepperano, who ran second to Le Chef in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic, is being aimed at the Magic Millions Guineas for three-year-olds on January 9.
The filly trialled in handy fashion when sixth to open company sprinter Whiskey Allround at Deagon on December 1 when she carried heavyweight jockey Allan Russell and tracked wide in the run.
“It was a handy enough effort but she needs to have a run to get ready for her main goal,” Birchley said.
Punishing, who hasn’t raced since scoring an impressive win at Doomben on October 24, is being prepared for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic.
“Punishing has the class to beat this field but from the wide barrier you always face a task,” Birchley said.
“I have the jockeys to overcome the barriers in Glen Boss on Pepperano and Damian Browne on Punishing. But they will need luck.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au