Birchley’s Kiwis Hardline & Beckham set for southern Spring

In-form trainer Liam Birchley is finalising his annual southern raiding party and blue blood Beckham (NZ) (Pins) could be a late inclusion.

Beckham will be one of two runners Birchley will have in the Beach House Bar and Grill Hcp (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.

There would be few better-bred horses racing in Australia than Beckham who is by champion sire Pins and out of the dual Group One-winner Glamour Puss.

Beckham originally raced in New Zealand for his owner the Waikato Stud’s Garry Chittick where he won a maiden at his first start at Matamata.

Peter and Jacob McKay trained Beckham in New Zealand but he has been with Birchley at Eagle Farm for his past three starts which included two wins at the Sunshine Coast.

Birchley has a big reputation in New Zealand thanks to his training performances there which include winning two Karaka Millions two-year-old races.

He has a lot of time for Beckham but isn’t getting carried away.

“They did hand his last start win at the Sunshine Coast to Beckham on a platter. He was able to dictate in front but it was an impressive win.”

“He is a nice horse and obviously very well-bred, but he will have to show us something in this better class to suggest we would take him south,” Birchley said.

Beckham was passed in at $400,000 as a yearling and now a-four-year-old he has won $44,000 in prizemoney to date.

“He has a way to go just yet,” Birchley said. Meanwhile, Birchley has had mixed luck with his three-year-olds and their spring campaigns.

His gelding Hardline (NZ) (Showcasing), who won the Karaka Million in January, is being set for the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on October 31.

“He will probably have his first start this campaign at Doomben next week and then possibly have another here before going south,” he said.

“The Coolmore is our aim but he will have to race well here firstly

“I missed the winter carnival because I don’t think Hardline’s racing pattern is suited to Doomben. So we have been able to bring him along slowly,” Birchley said.

The news hasn’t been so good for Birchley’s Group Two-winning filly Blueberry Hill.

“She pulled a hamstring in trackwork so I’ve had to abort her campaign in the short term,” Birchley said.

“But hopefully we can still go to Sydney or Melbourne later in the carnival.” – AAP Turf

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