The Stradbroke Handicap is officially in the history books, but there’s still plenty of great racing to be enjoyed in Queensland and focus shifts to Ipswich Cup Day this weekend.
Three black type races headline an exciting card that is rich with talent and value, and horses that enjoy a bit of cut out of the ground will find ideal conditions on the soft provincial track.
The rail will remain in the true position around the entire course on Ipswich Cup Day and the action will officially commence at 11:40am AEST.
A capacity field has been taken for the first on Ipswich Cup Day and there is a case to be made for several horses.
Fit For Purpose ($5.50) has been racing well without finding winning form this time and does appeal at current odds. The Show A Heart gelding ran third in a pair of 1400m races on the Gold Coast before placing a credible sixth in the Listed Spear Chief Quality on June 2nd. This is a step back in class and he has the added bonus of in-form hoop Michael McGillivray in the saddle.
Victorian raider A Mist Opportunity ($3.50) has also been racing well this time and looms as the horse to beat. The Foxwedge mare won over 1100m at Ballarat before stepping up to City grade for third down the Flemington straight on April 25th. She ran well to finish fifth in the Group 3 Proud Miss Stakes last time out and will enjoy the soft going again on Saturday.
Race 2 has drawn a decent and open field of milers, including the Richard Collett-trained Time Lord ($4). The Kiwi raider has been in excellent form this time and finished third in the Group 2 Valachi Downs Championship across the Tasman before winning a mile race on the Sunshine Coast and placing sixth in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes. This is a step back in class and he looks like the horse to beat.
Cascata Rossa ($12) is one of three for Matt Dunn in this field and he looks over the odds at his current price. The Testa Rossa gelding hasn’t missed a place through his four most-recent starts and has terrific form at Ipswich.
A smart field of two-year-olds has confirmed for Race 3 and there is plenty of value to be found in betting.
Several juveniles carry winning form into this race in Parko, who remains the $4.40 favourite at the time of publish. Parko is yet to miss a place through three starts this time in and broke his maiden by a seven-length triumph on the Gold Coast last time out. This is a step up in class, but he has the ability to continue a successful campaign through the grades.
Perfect Aim ($9) finished fourth on the Sunshine Coast last time out, but looks to have ideal conditions at Ipswich on Saturday and will be tough to beat. The Golden Archer gelding was a smart winner over 1200m at this track two runs back and can take a position just behind the pace on Saturday, before calling on his turn of foot. Jeff Lloyd in the saddle is also a big bonus.
Fifteen horses remain in contention for this year’s Provincial Stayers Final and there is a case to made for several horses following the early scratching of leading contender Time Lord.
Kay Kay Boy ($4) has returned to the track in outstanding condition this time and is primed for another win on Saturday. Saddled by the in-form Ben Currie stable, Kay Kay Boy has posted three wins and a close-up second through four starts since April and was last seen easily accounting for a field over 2000m at Gatton on June 2nd. He’s drawn poorly, but looks to have a class edge over a lot of his rivals and can be right in the finish again.
Evolo ($8) was outclassed when finishing midfield in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes last time out, but takes a noticeable step back into this race and has good appeal at each-way odds. The All Too Hard gelding has won two of four starts this time and is drawn and weighted ideally in this race, with Jeff Lloyd aboard.
A capacity field will step out for this QTIS race including interstate raider Envy Of All ($4.20), who is ready to peak third-up. Envy Of All resumed with a tough performer for fourth in the Listed Denise’s Joy Stakes before arriving in Queensland for second behind Miss Exfactor over 1000m on the Sunshine Coast. She takes 5kgs from that horse in this race and will be hard to hold out.
Unlikely Story ($6.50) has produced a number of fine performances this time and remains steady in betting. The Star Witness gelding was a dominant winner at Toowoomba two starts back before a credible run for fourth over 1200m at Doomben in late May. He’s drawn ideally and weighted to win.
We’re looking at $5 the field in Race 6 at the time of publish and there is a case to be made for more than half field.
Manias ($5) has not been seen at the races since September, but has trialled well in the lead-up to this race and is the early race favourite. Manias was outstanding last time in and won four of seven starts; finishing in the minors on two other occasions.
A horse that is worth consideration at long odds is the Matt Dunn-trained Perfect Dare ($19). Perfect Dare has typically raced amongst much tougher company than he finds at Ipswich on Saturday and will take plenty of improvement from his first-up run at Doomben in late May. He can find a position on-pace from his central draw and will give them something to chase.
The feature race has drawn a decent field of stayers, but it really does look like Tradesman’s race to lose. Tradesman has produced a number of strong performances and results this time and was last seen finishing second behind Egg Tart in the Group 2 PJ O’Shea Stakes. This is an obvious step back in class and he is drawn ideally in barrier 5 with Dean Yendall aboard. You can take advantage of a market-best price with Fat Odds on Tradesman here at Neds.
Ecuador has been a strong and consistent performer throughout his entire racing career and looms as Tradesman’s biggest threat in the Ipswich Cup. Once a runner-up to Winx in the Epsom Handicap, Ecuador resumed this time for consecutive second-placings in each of the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude, Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup and Listed Lord Mayors Cup. He has been charged with lugging a race-high 60kgs, but will be in the finish of this race on class alone.
The Eye Liner always draws a decent field of Winter Carnival sprinters and this year’s edition is no exception.
Tyzone has returned to racing in excellent form this time and is the $4.50 favourite in Eye Liner Stakes betting at the time of publish. Tyzone had his first start for Toby Edmonds for a dominant win over 1200m at the Gold Coast on May 5th, before repeating that effort and result at Doomben last time out. He is rock-hard fit for his third-up run and has conditions to suit.
I’m A Rippa ($7) has been outstanding since resuming in May and looks over the odds at his current price to win the Eye Liner. The Love Conquers All gelding resumed for third behind Tyzone on the Gold Coast before storming home to win the Group 3 BRC Sprint. He was terrific to the line for second in the Listed Spear Chief Quality last time out and was unlucky not to gain a start in last weekend’s Stradbroke Handicap.
The field for the Gai Waterhouse Classic is wide open and it looms as a great opportunity to take advantage of some value late in the day.
The Darren Weir-trained Platinum Angel ($3.10) is in great form and finds herself into another winnable race here. The Snitzel filly won a talent-rich sprint at Caulfield on May 12th before strong run for second in the Group 2 Moreton Cup a fortnight ago.
Lightly-raced mare Tumbler ($8.50) looks over the odds at her current price and is worth consideration in the Gai Waterhouse Classic. The daughter of Time Thief resumed for second in the Listed Lightning Stakes a fortnight ago and will take plenty of improvement into this race.