Desert General Climbs in Ratings

Winning his second start from as many outings this season was the Pencarrow Stud-bred Desert General (Commands x Zygadene) with victory at Doomben on Saturday in the A$65,000 Nairn Constructions Plate over 1350m.

Desert General won fresh up earlier this season at the Sunshine Coast and has now won four races from seven starts following two previous wins in his three-year-old season. Trained by leading Queensland trainer Liam Birchley, he closed last season with a midfield finish in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate.

“I was really pleased with his win,” commented Birchley. “He is always a bit slow on the uptake but we just have to keep him steady and he is getting better as he gets older.

“I think he is a good year away from being his best but it is heartening to see him coming up.”

Commencing from barrier 4, Desert General was ridden for the first time by Michael Cahill who settled him in sixth position early on in the race. After being caught behind the weakening Friendly Dragon (Hidden Dragon) at the top of the straight, he eventually got wind inside 250m and held off his rivals for victory by half-a-length over Charlie Cat (Old Deuteronomy) in second place with race-favourite Casual Choice (Choisir) in third.

“I am looking at a mile race for him Saturday week – he has already won at that distance,” added Birchley. “The aim is to get him to climb in ratings as much as possible so I can look at some black-type races with him in his next couple of preparations.”

Desert General is raced by a host owners including Mr MA Mclean, Mrs LJ Mclean, Mr GD Ledwidge, Mrs A Ledwidge, Mr G Sullivan, Mr RD Sullivan, Mrs WL Sullivan, Mr NK Maccarthy, Mr PJ Mcpherson, Mr CK Koh, Mr RW Sargent, Mr TL Carmichael, Mr GD Carmichael, Mr RS Heritage, Miss D Aram, Mr JM Sullivan, Mr S Mclean, Mr B Dodson and Mrs BA Dodson.

The four-year-old gelding was purchased by Liam Birchley’s LDM Ltd at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Premier Sale for $320,000 from Pencarrow Stud.

Bred by Sir Peter Vela and Philip Vela, the son of Commands is out of winning Zabeel mare Zygadene who is a full-sister to stakes winning Lafleur (Zabeel), winner of the Group 2 Royal Stakes.