McGil­livray re­tains ride for a Crack at Bris­bane Hand­i­cap

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - MARK OBERHARDT

IN-form Matt McGil­livray will re­tain the ride on Crack Me Up in Listed Bris­bane Hand­i­cap but Ja­son Collett is likely to be aboard when the geld­ing goes Syd­ney.

McGil­livray has been do­ing a lot of rid­ing for trainer Liam Birch­ley with the pair com­bin­ing for nine win­ners this sea­son.

He won his first stakes race on Crack Me Up in the Recog­ni­tion Stakes (1350m) at Doomben two weeks ago.

To­mor­row’s Bris­bane Hand­i­cap will be Crack Me Up’s fi­nal hitout be­fore the Group 2 Vil­liers Stakes (1600m) at Rand­wick on De­cem­ber 16.

Crack Me Up is the $6.50 sec­ond favourite for Vil­liers in most pre-post mar­kets.

McGil­livray has com­mit­ments in Bris­bane on Vil­liers day in­clud­ing the cur­rent Magic Mil­lions Clas­sic sec­ond favourite Ef Troop in the Phe­lan Ready Stakes.

Group 1-win­ning jockey Damian Browne won a stakes race on Crack Me Up — the Sun­shine Coast Guineas be­fore geld­ing went for a spell.

Browne also rode Crack Me Up when he was sec­ond first-up with 63kg.

McGil­livray got the ride in the Recog­ni­tion Stakes when Browne couldn’t make 54kg.

Birch­ley was ex­pected to re­call for Crack Me Up when he got 56.5kg for to­mor­row’s race.

“I would have used Damian but he wasn’t keen to go to Syd­ney,” Birch­ley said.

“Matt de­serves a good ride so I thought he might as well keep the ride for this week.”

“But at this stage we plan to get Ja­son Col­let for the Vil­liers.”

Birch­ley has had sev­eral run­ners in the Vil­liers with the best re­sult when Rags To Riches was third a three-way photo in 2008.

“The Bris­bane Hand­i­cap will be a good guide for us. It is a strong field and it will give us very idea where we stand,” Birch­ley said.

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