Birchley undecided on plans for Country

Trainer Liam Birchley doesn’t know what to make of three-year-old Headwater Country after his freakish win at Ipswich on Wednesday.

Headwater Country ($3.60) appeared likely to run last at the 600m and still looked only a place chance with 100m to go before charging late to win the Brisbane Airport Ground Transport Handicap (1000m) by a half neck over Celestial Dragon ($4.40).

Birchley had a big opinion of Headwater Country as a two-year-old and the horse placed behind Earthquake in an early-season juvenile race in Sydney but failed to fire in the autumn.

He returned with a handy barrier trial victory over subsequent Silver Shadow Stakes winner Bring Me The Maid at Doomben last month and took that form to the races with a first-up win at Eagle Farm on August 9.

However, Birchley is still unsure what to do with Headwater Country.

“He had no luck in those races as a two-year-old and we gave him a spell. He seems to have come back well,” Birchley said.

“But I must admit I still don’t know what to make of today’s run. You would have torn up your ticket halfway down the straight.

“He wasn’t going to win until the last 20 metres and he really didn’t travel at any stage of the race.”

Headwater Country will have his next start in a three-year-old race at Doomben two weeks from Saturday.

“That race is over 1200m and after it we might have a clearer idea of whether we should be heading back south,” Birchley said.

Meanwhile, Patinack Farm celebrated a win at Ipswich when favourite Armoured ($2.60) did best in a slogging duel with Midnight Dancer ($4.60) to claim the Brisbane Airport Corporation Cup (1666m).

All horses owned by Nathan Tinkler’s Patinack Farm will be put through a Magic Millions dispersal sale next month after the former mining baron decided to sell off his racing and breeding interests.

Story courtesy


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