Much-travelled stayer Pop ‘N’ Scotch might not have another start before trying to make it fourth time lucky in the Queensland Cup.
Trained by Liam Birchley at Eagle Farm, Pop ‘N’ Scotch finished midfield first-up in the Ipswich Cup on Saturday.
His main mission for the winter is the Queensland Cup (3200m) at the Sunshine Coast on July 15.
The gelding has run second in the past three Queensland Cups behind Iggy Pop (2014), Mister Impatience (2015) and Murphy’s Delight (2016).
Birchley said he would dearly love to win the Queensland Cup with Pop ‘N’Scotch.
“He is just a genuine two-mile horse,” Birchley said.
“He ran second as a three-year-old in the race at Eagle Farm when John Thompson had him. It was the first time in something like 44 years a three-year-old had been placed in the Cup.
“Then when I had him, the Cup was run at Caloundra and he shot away with what looked like a winning break. One of the owners started patting me on the back and next thing he got nailed right on the line.”
“It was another example of never having a 3200 metre race won until they pass the post.”
Birchley said Pop ‘N’ Scotch had no luck when the race was again back at Eagle Farm last year.
“Robert Thompson rode him and said he never handled the track at all but kept trying.”
Birchley said he was likely to by pass the Caloundra Cup on July 1 and wait the extra two weeks to the Queensland Cup
“You don’t need to do much with him and he likes his runs well spaced,” he said.
Pop ‘N’Scotch has seen plenty of Australasia in the past two years having raced in Queensland, Victoria, NSW. South Australia and New Zealand.
Birchley believes one of his best runs was in this year’s Wellington Cup (3200m) when Pop’N’Scotch was beaten three lengths into eighth place.
“Basically there are no training facilities in Wellington and we had to drive down from the north,” he said.
“We took a wrong turn driving him to the racecourse and ended up on a mountain road which took a lot longer to get there. I reckon the trip took a bit off him and then he had no luck in the straight.”