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Zahspeed ready for another Darwin crusade

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The much-travelled Zahspeed will have his first start for trainer Liam Birchley at Eagle Farm.

A long trip to a new stable will be the least of gypsy Zahspeed’s problems when he takes the first steps to another Darwin campaign at Eagle Farm.

Zahspeed has seen more of Australia than the average grey nomad having raced in Victoria, South Australia, NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

He has had stints with trainers Kelvin Bourke, Danny O’Brien, Toby Edmonds and Philip Stokes.

He is best known for his time with trainer Gary Clarke under whose guidance Zahspeed won last year’s Darwin Cup.

It took the gelding’s overall record to 10 wins and eight minor placings for $520,000 prize money from his 40 starts.

Zahspeed will be having his first start for Queensland trainer Liam Birchley in the Open Handicap (1400m) on Saturday.

“I am mates with Gary and he recommended Zahspeed come to me on his way north,” Birchley said.

“I don’t think he will be running in races like the Toowoomba Cup and he will have a couple of runs here before I send him on to Darwin.”

Zahspeed hasn’t run since winning at Moonee Valley on October 26.

“He isn’t a noted first-up horse but he has travelled well up here which is hardly a shock as he has seen most of Australia,” Birchley said.

Fellow trainer Brian Smith has accepted with stakes winner Order Again who has trialled well for his comeback.

Order Again won the 2017 Group Three Grand Prix Stakes but has been restricted to just five runs since because of a series of leg problems.

He will be having his first run since September on Saturday but impressed when third in a Doomben trial two weeks ago.

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