Eagle Farm based trainer Liam Birchley awaits the presentation of the trainer's trophy after winning the 2012 Calton Mid Coffs Harbour Gold Cup with his eight year-old gelding Pepperwood.
Eagle Farm based trainer Liam Birchley awaits the presentation of the trainer's trophy after winning the 2012 Calton Mid Coffs Harbour Gold Cup with his eight year-old gelding Pepperwood. Trevor Veale

Birchley's Cup gamble pays off

BRISBANE based trainer Liam Birchley is tonight on cloud nine with his eight year old gelding Pepperwood taking out the 2012 Carlton Mid Coffs Harbour Gold Cup.

Guided by Group One winning jockey Danny Nikolic, the eight year old made a great run up the inside in a crowded pack to steal the win by one and half lengths.

"It was so close at the end, it is races like that which give you a bigger buzz than usual," Birchley said.

"I am so happy with the result because country cup races are so hard to win."

It was a calculated gamble from Birchley to enter Pepperwood in the Cup after he decided to give the gelding one last start after a tough run of results.

"To be honest entering the Cup was a bit of an afterthought," he said.

"I was about to send him to the paddock after he struggled in his last start.

"His last result left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth and when the opportunity to race at Coffs Harbour I jumped at the chance."

It seemed as if everything just fell into place for Birchley when the trainer from Brisbane's Eagle Farm discovered Nikolic was still without a mount for the Cup

"I didn't know Danny was even riding at the carnival and everything just unfolded and I managed to get him to ride for me," Birchley said

"Danny is riding exceptionally well and that was obviously a big part of the win."

Despite the Cup win it is straight back to Brisbane for Birchley who will finally give Pepperwood a spell.

"He gets to go to the paddock for a while now to rest up," he said.

"I am aiming to bring him back for the Brisbane summer series so hopefully he maintains the great form."



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