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Liam Birchley will wait until race day before deciding if Alberton Park takes her first step at Eagle Farm on Wednesday towards a black-type goal this campaign.

Alberton Park has been placed in two barrier trials in preparation for her comeback in the Girls Day Out Handicap (1000m).

Birchley would prefer to start off the four-year-old on a dry track but Eagle Farm is currently rated slow following showers.

Course manager Bill Shuck is confident the track will improve to dead if the latest forecast for showers doesn’t eventuate.

“The track is a slow six but it’s drying out well and should come back to dead if we don’t get any more rain,” Shuck said.

Birchley has always had a good opinion of Alberton Park who hasn’t started since finishing third to Fly To Win in the Bollinger Handicap (1350m) at Doomben in September.

Alberton Park tested punters’ patience early in her career when beaten at short odds in her first three starts before breaking through for a maiden victory at Doomben in November 2009.

The daughter of 2004 Group One Stradbroke Handicap winner Thorn Park has since won a further three times.

Birchley believes a lack of maturity has held Alberton Park back during her career but he’s confident she can prove a success at black-type level.

“She’s coming along well but this is only a 1000-metre race,” Birchley said.

“She’s done enough work to win first-up but the track is a concern.

“It’ll depend how the track plays but she keeps improving.

“She’s definitely better on top of the ground but she has won on a slow track.”

Birchley will be guided by Alberton Park’s performances before deciding if she’s up to a trip to Sydney for the autumn.

“I haven’t really worried about it yet but if she happened to go well enough she could end up in Sydney,” he said.

Birchley’s other alternative is to wait for the fillies and mares races during the Brisbane winter carnival.

He has always wanted to test Alberton Park over ground after missing the opportunity to run her in the Group One Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm.

Her Oaks campaign was abandoned after she was injured on a walking machine.

AAP TURF

 
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