The promising Desert General begins a belated summer campaign at Doomben, having recovered from injuries received in an unusual accident.
Desert General got away from a strapper and careered around Nudgee Road, which connects Brisbane’s two racetracks, before falling over when he returned to the stables.
“He took a lot of skin off his legs and we had no option but to turn him out,” Birchley said.
Desert General, a four-year-old who cost $320,000 at the New Zealand sales, had two starts last campaign winning at Caloundra before beating boom horse Charlie Cat at Doomben last October.
Desert General makes his return in the Women’s Cancer Foundation Handicap on Saturday.
“I don’t expect him to shoot out the lights on Saturday but with a horse like him you never know. He does race well fresh,” Birchley said.
“He is by Commands out of a Zabeel mare and he throws to her. Like all Zabeel horses they get better with time and I hope that is what happens with him.”
Desert General was tried at 2000m in the Group Three Rough Habit Plate as a three-year-old and finished midfield.
“He was ridden upside down that day and I don’t think that is any indication of how he will handle the 2000 metres later on,” Birchley said.
“I don’t know if he will measure up to the winter carnival this campaign but I think in the long-term he will be a handy horse.”