Jockey Damian Browne has used his knowledge of the Caloundra track on Crack Me Up to win his third Group Three Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) in the past four years.
Browne surprised even trainer Liam Birchley on Saturday when he led on Crack Me Up ($6.50) before kicking away in the straight to win by 1-3/4 lengths over My True Love ($4.80), with Flow ($15) a half-head back in third.
Browne is generally considered the king of the Sunshine Coast track and previously won the Guineas on Hopfgarten (2014) and Tivaci (2016).
“I decided to get up on the pace when he began well and the speed wasn’t breakneck,” Browne said.
It completed a double for Browne, who had won earlier on Badajoz and was his 41st Caloundra winner this season, but he looks set to lose his Sunshine Coast premiership to Jeff Lloyd.
Birchley admits he was surprised to see Crack Me Up leading.
“Damian knows how to ride this track and you don’t disagree with him,” Birchley said.
Crack Me Up had won only one of his previous 14 races but had finished second to smart Sydney galloper Religify at his previous start.
“But he tested a good horse last start when the weights didn’t suit him. It has been the story of his career where he hasn’t had much luck at all,” Birchley said.
“I am keen to try him at further but I don’t know if there is much around for him. But he is a Magic Millions horse and we can always look to the summer.”
Birchley had a slow patch earlier this year but has been in good form lately thanks to his property Archer Park getting going, north of Brisbane.
“The property is really starting to pay off. The horses can have a freshen up there after racing and they seem to respond,” he said.
Adam Hyeronimus said he had been shuffled back in the run but his filly had tried hard along the fence late.