Birdy Mach might be the best two-year-old Luke McCarthy has ever driven, the champion harness racing reinsman says.
The unbeaten Mach Three colt went 1:53.8 to win on debut last month before making it two from two at Menangle on July 1.
Birdy Mach will contest the colts and geldings' Garrards Horse and Hound Tatlow Stakes (Group 2) this Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton.
He has drawn gate two for the 2240m event, alongside unbeaten polemarker Burnaholeinmypocket from the Andy Gath stable.
“He’s really good. On raw ability he’s right up there with the best two-year-olds I’ve driven,” McCarthy said. “He’s pretty special. “He’s still got a bit to learn but we wanted to get him down to Melbourne to settle in before the Breeders Crown and the Tatlow looks a really nice race.”
Birdy Mach's first lifetime start
Smooth Showgirl will also head to the Breeders Crown via the Tatlow Stakes for fillies, the Art Major youngster put away for a spell after winning the Group 1 Nursery Final at Albion Park in May.
“We turned her out after the Nursery, elected to bypass the Vicbred and head straight to the Breeders,” McCarthy said.
“She’s had a couple of trials at home and won them both. She’ll be in good order.”
Todd McCarthy will steer both horses at Melton this weekend while Luke pilots stable big guns Chilli Palmer and Bling It On at Albion Park.
Bling It On has won eight straight races and will be a hot favourite in the Queensland Derby on Saturday night. “He’s a great horse. Let’s hope he can make it nine from nine this week and then we’ll head to the Breeders Crown head up there next Friday,” McCarthy said.
Chilli Palmer will race in the Group 3 4YO Championship after his last-start win last Saturday night at Albion Park.
By Cody Winnell
Harness Racing Victoria