Birchley eyeing another Karaka win


Liam Birchley is plotting another win at New Zealand's Karaka Million race day but this time with a three-year-old.

The Eagle Farm trainer has won the Karaka Million two-year-old race at Ellerslie twice with Sister Havana (2010) and Hardline (2015).

He is hoping well-bred gelding Chamalu will give him a chance to win a first $1 million Karaka Three-Year-Old Classic in January.

Chamalu scored an impressive debut win in a maiden (1200m) at the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday and the astute Birchley was immediately looking across the Tasman.

"I paid $200,000 for him at the Karaka Sale last year," Birchley said.

"I really liked the look of him. His sire Redwood was a 2000 metre horse and Chamalu is out of an O'Reilly mare so you would think he would get 3200 metres.

"But Chamalu has nice turn of pace. All going well I will look at trying to win a couple of races with him and pick up more prize money so we can got to the Karaka Million meeting for the three-year-old race in January."

Chamalu is by the High Chaparral stallion Redwood, himself a Group One winner, who stands at Westbury Stud in New Zealand.

Birchley said Chamalu was bred to be a top class stayer and hadn't shown much in jump-outs until blinkers were added to his gear.

Winning jockey James Orman said Chamalu had to work hard from his wide barrier but fought on when challenged in the straight.

Apprentice Amelia Denby finished her apprenticeship on a winning note with a double for trainer Robert Heathcote on Alpen Rose ($4) and Kingtantes.

"Amelia comes out of her time today but she is a hard worker and can ride light," Heathcote said.

Denby said she was a little nervous about coming out of her time on Wednesday but hoped to continue riding for top stables.

"I was glad to win for Rob today because he has been great to me with rides," she said.

Mark Oberhardt - AAP

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