Trainer Liam Birchley has purpose in plan

BRISBANE Apr 19 2019

Trainer Liam Birchley has elected to go with the lesser of two evils by backing up smart galloper Fit For Purpose at Doomben.

The gelding resumed at Eagle Farm last Saturday and came from second last to be fourth behind Scallopini in a handicap over 1400m.

Birchley was happy with the run but said he really had no choice but to run Fit For Purpose in the Listed Tails Stakes (1615m) at Doomben on Saturday.

"Running this Saturday is the lesser of two evils. It is the way the programs have fallen," Birchley said.

"I either run him or wait three weeks before sending him around over 1800 metres in the Hollindale Cup at the Gold Coast.

'"I know it is a Group Two weight for age race but we are looking at the (Group One) Doomben Cup with him."

Birchley is confident Fit For Purpose will run a strong 2000m, the distance of the Doomben Cup on May 18.

But he still needs to be convinced Fit For Purpose is up to the Group One Class.

"The Hollindale will give us an idea of whether he is up to that type of race. So we really want to give him every chance in the Hollindale and that means having another run."

Birchley said Fit For Purpose had continued to surprise him with his ability to step up to tests in his career.

"He won the Listed Tattersalls Members Cup in winter and his three runs in the summer were good because he had no luck," Birchley said.

"Even when he looks to have been well beaten on paper he wasn't far away from the placegetters.

"Fit For Purpose has had a trial and last Saturday's race and he is coming along like a middle distance horse."

Fit For Purpose has already proved a bargain as he was bought for $14,000 as a yearling and has won $260,000 prize money.

He is one of many horses by veteran sire Show A Heart who have shown up as potential middle distance horses.

"I trained his dam Gag Order who won six races around Brisbane about 10 years ago but she was mainly a sprinter," Birchley said.

Dale Smith has been Fit For Purpose's jockey but he is suspended for Saturday.

"Sean Cormack will replace Dale on Saturday and he is also very experienced. It will be good to get another opinion on Fit For Purpose," Birchley said.



Mark Oberhardt - AAP

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