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The predicted heavy rain for Brisbane late this week has trainer Liam Birchley split on how it will impact on his two top chances on Saturday.

Birchley will fly out of Brisbane on Saturday morning to saddle Hardline in the Karaka Million at Ellerslie, New Zealand on Sunday.

However, he could have a major hand in the two feature races at Doomben with Missy Longstocking in the Nudgee Quality and Sagatona in the Birthday Bash Three Year Old (1200m).

Birchley has booked Damien Browne for Missy Longtstocking who drew perfectly in barrier three for her second run in a year.

The mare was very unlucky when third in the Magic Millions Sprint behind Straturbo two weeks ago.

“Missy Longstocking got a couple of checks in the straight and she should have finished closer, if not won,” Birchley said.

“But she is no good thing to start. She got 59kgs and I am not going to run her with that weight on a bog track.”

Birchley has no such qualms about Sagatona who was also an unlucky third at her first from a spell in the Magic Millions maiden two weeks ago.

Sagatona is yet to win a race but was very competitive against Group company as a two-year-old.

The filly came from 16th on the turn to finish third in the Millions maiden and Birchley feels a better barrier will aid her.

“She has a good barrier this time and I have no fears for her on a wet track. Glen Colless will ride her and his style should suit,” Birchley said.

He also reported Hardline had done well since flying to Auckland for the Karaka Million last week.

“Hardline has settled in very well. I went to Auckland to see him work on Tuesday and was very pleased with the effort,” Birchley said.

Hardline has jumped out in blinkers and will wear them for the first time in a race on Sunday. Browne will ride Hardline in the Karaka Million and his departure will depend on whether Missy Longstocking starts.

“It will be a busy three days as I am scheduled to ride at Doomben on Saturday, in Auckland on Sunday and then in Melbourne on Monday,” he said.

Birchley’s Magic Millions runner-up Pepperano has gone for a spell after finishing 12th in the Racing Minister’s Two Year old Classic last Saturday.

 
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