The day we’ve all been waiting for is finally here! It’s TAB Ipswich Cup day and we’ve got nine of the best to get involved in. The weather gods have blessed us with amazing winter weather with racing to take place under near perfect conditions. The track as of Friday is rated a Soft 5 but we could see an upgrade on Saturday. The rail is out 0.5m the entire course.
Race 1 - SIRROMET WINES BUNDAMBA PLATE QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap (1200 METRES)
Speed: There looks to be good speed in the opening event of the day. Rose Of Shiraz will look to spear across from the outside gate and take up the running. While Northern Express and Spooky Spirit will also push forward.
Gear Changes: Mishani Warfare (1) Blinkers FIRST TIME, Spooky Spirit (4) Glue on Shoes (Front) FIRST TIME
Honey Pot (5) is clearly the best horse in the race but will have to deal with a tricky gate. The Tony Gollan-trained filly found the line strongly from the back to finish third when resuming in the Listed Bill Carter Stakes at Eagle Farm over 1200m. She’ll have come on from that run. There looks to be good speed in the race which will help her cause. Ryan Maloney will settle back before presenting in the straight with a powerful burst.
Saweetie (8) can be forgiven for her last start failure in the Bill Carter. She simply doesn’t appreciate the Eagle Farm surface. The start prior she settled handy before running down the leader to win by half a length over 1200m at the Sunshine Coast. From barrier 4, Ben Thompson should be able to settle in the second pair and get a great run.
Northern Express (2) has been racing well this preparation. He defeated the older horses easily to win first-up at Warwick before finishing second on the Poly. Last start fitness got him home when winning over 1000m here. Jaden Lloyd’s 1.5kg claim is handy and he should be able to give him the run of the race from the inside gate.
Spooky Spirit (4) brained a small field of four by 7.3 lengths at Toowoomba last start over 1300m. That was on a heavy track and this is a lot harder but the second horse Hubbub was only narrowly beaten by Rose Of Shiraz at its next start. He should race in a forward position.
On Top Selection: Honey Pot (5)
Race 2 - SCHWEPPES T.L. COONEY (1350 METRES)
Speed: Indiscreetly should push forward from the outside gate in an effort to lead. If Badgers Nuts races here then it can go forward. Expecting a decent tempo with Hamlet Von Snitzel, Berdini’s Girl and Apple Tart all capable of going forward.
Gear Changes: Indiscreetly (5) Stallion Chain FIRST TIME
Hamlet Von Snitzel (2) did well last start when 2.9 lengths fifth in the Listed Queensland Day Stakes over 1200m at Eagle Farm. While it didn’t really affect the result he was held up slightly in the straight. That was a much harder affair than this. Two starts back he led into the straight over 1300m at Eagle Farm and boxed on well for a 0.4 length third. In his only start at Ipswich, he won over 1100m three starts back. He has a fitness edge on his side and should enjoy racing in a prominent position for Jaden Lloyd.
Indiscreetly (5) captured our imaginations when winning her first three career starts. Her first two starts were over this distance before romping in by over six lengths in the City To Surf. Her only defeat came in the Magic Millions Guineas last start. She resumes here on the back of three trials so she should have a good level of fitness. She has the early speed to counter the wide gate but there is a chance she may get posted deep. Classy filly.
Subterranean (1) should be hitting his straps third-up. He was outclassed in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas first-up before improving last start at Scone over this trip. He has been toiling away in Sydney but prior to going south he won the Ken Russell so he’s a quality galloper on his day. Gets his chance to break a 57-week drought here.
Minto’s Paradise (3) was erratic when resuming for a 1.8 length third on the Poly over 1000m last start. He couldn’t go with them early before flashing late despite not being able to gallop straight. The rise in distance suits and he gets the service of Jimmy Orman from the inside gate. Can improve.
On Top Selection: Hamlet Von Snitzel (2)
Race 3 - CHANNEL SEVEN PROVINCIAL STAYERS FINAL BENCHMARK 78 Handicap (2500 METRES)
Speed: Accessory looks the likely leader. He could be joined by Go Millo and Aliraaj who will look to burn over from the outside gate.
I Ponder (11) has only had five starts but looks to have plenty of ability. Two starts back he won over 1600m on the Poly before stepping up to 2000m and grinding out a close win. He looks the type of horse that gets better the further the trip so the rise to 2500m here looks like it will suit. He will appreciate getting back onto a grass track and with just 52.5kg on his back will be hard to hold out in the run home.
Read My Future (3) is building a nice record, having won four of his eight career starts. He won on the Poly over 2000m two starts back by half a length before letting down beautifully to bolt in by 3.3 lengths over 2150m again on the Poly. He’s drawn to get an economical run.
Accessory (2) finished second two starts back before proving too strong over 2400m at the Sunshine Coast in a heat of this Stayers series. Is rock hard fit and will have no dramas running out a strong 2500m.
Kipling’s Journey (10) hit his straps last start when racing over 2040m at Doomben. The big striding gelding worked home strongly to win well. He’s up in class here but right down weight and will carry just 52.5kg.
On Top Selection: I Ponder (11)
Race 4 - GREAT NORTHERN IPSWICH MILE One Metro Win Handicap (This Season) (1666 METRES)
Speed: Olympic Class and Factory Warrior should go forward and lead from inside gates. Others may join them in going forward such as See Marie.
Gear Changes: Divine Sanction (2) Bandages (Front) OFF FIRST TIME, Factory Warrior (3) Cross-over Nose Band OFF AGAIN, Tongue Tie OFF AGAIN, Winkers OFF AGAIN
See Marie (4) will be fitter after finishing 3.4 lengths fifth over 1400m in Class 6 company at Eagle Farm first-up. She has since had a trial where she settled back and worked home nicely. The mare always improves second-up and boasts an impressive record of 3 wins from 4 second-up races. That includes a win at her only start at Ipswich in December. From barrier 10, Jimmy Byrne will work forward to find a spot in the first 2 or 3 pairs. This looks like a great race for her.
Jakama (6) worked home strongly to just miss the win at Toowoomba over 1300m last start. The way he was charging suggests the rise in distance here is right up his alley. He’ll appreciate the return to Ipswich where he has won three and placed in two others from eight starts. Sam Collett takes the ride and who can forget her absolute peach winning here on him on November 27 last year.
Without Thinking (12) has ability but has been a touch disappointing this preparation. He can be forgiven for his last start ninth over 1615m at Doomben as he raced three deep throughout before understandably fading. He has a good record at the track and will appreciate a dry track.
Factory Warrior (3) is another that will appreciate getting onto a drier surface. He led at Doomben over 1615m last start and was run down in the concluding stages. Will be in this for a long way.
On Top Selection: See Marie (4)
Race 5 - RIVER 949FM Class 6 Handicap (1100 METRES)
Speed: Orbisyn looks the likely leader at what should be a decent clip. However with the scratching of Sir Warwick, Orbisyn may get the lead easier.
Gear Changes: Goldsborough (5) Cross-over Nose Band FIRST TIME, Tongue Tie FIRST TIME, Invincible Lad (10) Tongue Tie FIRST TIME
Orbisyn (8) can be forgiven for his first loss in five starts when resuming. He was pestered in front and didn’t look comfortable in the heavy going. He was also first-up off a 51-week break so he’ll strip fitter here. He’ll enjoy getting onto a good track and did bolt in by 4.8 lengths at his only other run at the track. While he’s drawn wide, he has the speed to cross and lead and without Sir Warwick in the race Jimmy Byrne may be able to dictate proceedings. If he can then this talent will be tough to run down.
The Big Goodbye (6) is a model of consistency having only been out of the top 3 twice in 19 starts. He was narrowly beaten by Boomnova two starts back who then won the Lightning. Last start ‘Barry’ as some know him sat just off the hot speed before running down Orbisyn to win easily. Leah Kilner who claims 2kg can give him a nice run just behind the speed.
Skins (2) put in a fair effort when finishing third here first-up. He was having his first run in 56 weeks so will take a lot of benefit from the run. Importantly, he’s undefeated in three second-up runs. He races well here but perhaps will find this a touch sharp.
Shamaton (7) has been freshened after finishing third but well beaten by Boomnova last start. He has since had a trial to keep him ticking over. He should be prominent from the good gate.
On Top Selection: Orbisyn (8)
Race 6 - RAY WHITE IPSWICH QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1100 METRES)
Speed: There is no shortage of speed in this sprint. Rubiquitous, Inasec, Yes Dream and Oriental Princess will go forward looking to cross from wide gates. Meanwhile Coco Rox and Grey Defence will push up from down low.
Gear Changes: Kalashnikov (2) Blinkers FIRST TIME, Cross-over Nose Band OFF FIRST TIME, Ear Muffs (Pre-Race Only) FIRST TIME, Gelded, Tongue Tie FIRST TIME, Uncommon James (5) Gelded, Oriental Princess (13) Blindfold AGAIN
Coco Rox (6) pulled out plenty to win first-up at Doomben over 1050m. Matt Dunn then sent her south where she led off a wide gate in the Denses Joy at Scone and she fought on gamely only to be run down late. Last start she finished third at Caulfield. She should enjoy a nice run on the speed and looks well placed in this field.
Rubiquitous (1) has been freshened since winning the Mick Dittman Plate. This bloke absolutely loves racing on the fresh side having won all three first-up races. He warmed up for this with a nice trial. If he can get some luck from the wide gate then he can figure.
Miss Hipstar (3) didn’t run badly despite fading late in the Helen Coughlan Stakes last start. That was against older horses so she’ll enjoy coming back to her own age. She ran a great race first-up when narrowly beaten by Rubiquitous in the Mick Dittman. In fact, her trainer fired in an unsuccessful protest. From the nice draw with the speed on, she’ll be running on strongly.
Inasec (9) gave nothing else a chance when going to the lead early last start at Doomben and racing away for a four length win. That was only a Class 1 but this girl has always looked to have above average ability. Jimmy Byrne will gun it from the gates and look to lead and hold them off.
Kalashnikov (2) is resuming after a 64 week spell. He’s been involved in two nice trials this preparation in readiness for this first-up test. He’s a quality galloper that won the Black Opal as a two-year-old. Keep safe.
On Top Selection: Coco Rox (6)
Race 7 - TAB IPSWICH CUP (2150 METRES)
Speed: Spencer will look to come across from the outside gate and lead. Street Dancer and Tavion Prince will be close along with Youngblood.
Gear Changes: Dunhill (16) Blinkers FIRST TIME, Swords Drawn (4) Cross-over Nose Band FIRST TIME
Swords Drawn (4) is an out and out kiwi stayer. He last raced in the Gold Coast Cup and didn’t look like he handled the testing track as he finished 3.1 lengths off the winner and wasn’t pushed out. Prior to coming over to Australia he was racing in terrific form. Two starts back he stormed home to win the Hawkes Bay Cup over 2200m and four starts back he again finished off to win over 2200m at Ellerslie. In between those runs he finished a creditable fifth in the Group 1 Auckland Cup. He missed a run since the Gold Coast Cup due to a slight setback but he’s been ticking over nicely since. He’ll appreciate the dry track and will be strong late for Sam Collett.
Berdibek (1) will appreciate racing on a good surface. He has encountered wet tracks early in his preparation and he simply doesn’t go a yard on them. Last start in farcically slow run race over 1800m at Eagle Farm, he worked home well given how the race was run. He’ll enjoy the rise in distance and boasts a great record over the distance having won two and placed third in three starts. Gets the services of Ipswich’s leading jockey Jimmy Orman.
Bartholomeu Dias (3) returned to form last start over 1800m at Eagle Farm. He settled at the tail before finding the line strongly to win by a length. Despite not beating a great deal, it was his first win in almost a year which will give him confidence. It would seem that he has flourished since joining Annabel Neasham’s stable. He’ll appreciate the rise to 2150m given the way he hit the line. He’ll be right in this.
Our Intrigue (5) was very good two starts back when involved in a fight up the Eagle Farm straight with Yonkers. Unfortunately, Our Intrigue was nudged out late at the end of the 2143m race but she was clearly ahead of the rest. She dropped back to 1600m last start and was fair in finishing fourth. That run will have sharpened her up for this and finds herself dropping in class. She’s a quality mare.
Youngblood (10) last run at Eagle Farm where he finished seventh to Bartholomeu Dias can be forgiven. He simply doesn’t handle that track. His form prior was very good and included a win over 2200m at Doomben three starts back. Queensland’s leading trainer Tony Gollan would have had this race as his target for some time.
Street Dancer (8) is in great form this preparation having won three of five starts. However, this is his toughest test this preparation. Last start he ran home strongly to win over 2200m at Doomben. He will either lead or settle in the first few pairs which will place him beautifully when they hit the straight.
On Top Selection: Swords Drawn (4)
Race 8 - CITY OF IPSWICH EYE LINER STAKES (1350 METRES)
Speed: It should be fairly willing here. Sir Warwick, Holyfield and Emerald Kingdom will all go forward from outside gates. Gospodin and others will also be looking to race on pace.
Gear Changes: Our Birdsong (17) Blinkers AGAIN
Vinco (5) was very good in winning the Spear Chief last start over 1500m at Eagle Farm. He drops back to 1350m here but that won’t be a problem. Two starts back he was full of running but just couldn’t get clear in the straight when finishing 1.8 lengths behind Soxagon in the BRC Sprint. Alligator Blood was second that day and he went on to win the Stradbroke so that form reads well. Ben Thompson can settle midfield or better behind what looks a good speed before launching in the straight.
Holyfield (3) has put in two very good efforts this preparation. First-up he finished just under a length behind Emerald Kingdom in The Archer. He then fought out the finish when a close fourth in the BRC Sprint. Unfortunately he has drawn the car park so will need some luck. However, if he gets it then expect him to be right in the finish.
Emerald Kingdom (1) won The Archer three starts back before racing wide when ninth in the BRC Sprint. He was outclassed in The Stradbroke last start so will find the drop in class to his liking. He has raced well at Ipswich before and will be up on the speed. He’s drawn wide so will need some luck.
Palladas (15) is in most people’s “never again” files after starting favourite on many occasions and finding bad luck. That was the case last start when finishing second by a narrow gap after encountering traffic. Who can forget his sickening beat on Ipswich Cup day last year? Having said that, if he manages to get a clear run then he has the talent to win this race.
On Top Selection: Vinco (5)
Race 9 - KINGSLEY LAWSON LAWYERS GAI WATERHOUSE CLASSIC (1200 METRES)
Speed: There looks decent speed in the final race of the day. Dragon Miss looks like the likely leader but Juan Diva and Centrefire shouldn’t be too far away.
Tahitian Dancer (5) is low flying and looks ready to win. Two starts back she ran on strongly in the rain to finish second in the Bright Shadow at Eagle Farm. Last start she again find the line well but was bloused late by Najmaty when third in the Helen Coughlan Stakes. That’s the right form for this race. With a bit of a speed on she’ll be flashing home and hopefully winning.
Juan Diva (2) has very similar form to Tahitian Dancer. She finished fourth in both races mentioned above. Three runs back she won at Caulfield. From barrier 3, she’ll enjoy a beautiful run on the speed for Jimmy Byrne.
Centrefire (9) drops in class after contesting the Moreton Cup last start. Prior to that she encountered traffic when seventh in the Bright Shadow and gave a big sight before being run down in the Helen Coughlan. From barrier 1, Sam Collett will enjoy the run of the race. She seems well over the odds.
Tycoon Evie (8) ran on well for sixth when resuming last start in the Helen Coughlan. She’ll have taken improvement from that run and does boast a good second-up record. This is her first time racing at Ipswich but she’s a quality mare.
On Top Selection: Tahitian Dancer (5)
Race 1 - Honey Pot (5)
Race 4 - See Marie (4)
Race 8 - Vinco (5)
Leg One: 1,2,3,6,9
Leg Two: 1,3,4,5,8,10
Leg Three: 1,2,3,5,15
Leg Four: 2,5,8,9
By: Craig Sheppard
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