Queensland Winners expert analyst The Professor brings you his Ipswich Cup preview ahead of the action on Saturday.
The fine conditions that have prevailed for the majority of the carnival have continued in Brisbane over the last week. With only a small chance of a late shower on Saturday I expect that we will see a Good 4 track to start the day, likely upgraded to a Good 3. The Ipswich track doesn’t have as severe a bias as some other in SE QLD and with the rail in the true position I expect horses on the speed but off the fence to be the most advantaged. I don’t think being hard fence will be poison to your chances – it will just make life slightly harder.
With only a field of 12 and not many genuine on pace horses I don’t think there will be a fast tempo set here. First Crush and Ruby Guru look the likely leaders with Fighting Teo and Bergerac likely to be up on pace as well. Sampson from out wide could go forward as well but think is more likely to try and slot in just off the speed. Expecting those runners on pace to be advantaged here.
#1 Sampson (H Matthews, M Du Plessis)
Barrier 11, 58kg
Well beaten as a $151 pop last start in the Group 2 P J O’Shea Stakes won by Kenedna. This is obviously an easier assignment and prior form in Victoria was ok for this type of race. Will be fit and though drawn out wide this is not the worst track to be wide on. Without knowing too much about the NZ form hard to have a strong either way on this horse and will take what the market tells me.
#2 Bergerac (S Tregea, M Murphy)
Barrier 10, 57.5kg
On the quick back up after finishing 9th beaten 4L in the Wayne Wilson on Stradbroke Day. Is his first try up over 2000m+ which is some concern though did run strongly enough through the line last start without really being tested. Drawn barrier 10 but without much pace in the race have him mapped to possibly find the box seat which should be the most advantaged position. Looks to have a bit going for him here.
#3 First Crush (C Munce, M Mc Gillivray)
Barrier 3, 56kg
Sent around at a big price last start in the Premier’s Cup and ran accordingly dropping out to finish last. Prior form was ok having been competitive with Le Juge both of his prior 2 starts. Did seem to have every possible on each occasion and don’t think there is any value in his price here.
#4 Morendi (D Graham, M Cahill)
Barrier 6, 55kg
Comes through the same lead up races as First Crush and has struggled to be competitive. Looks likely to get back against the likely slow tempo as well. Does get a jockey upgrade with M Cahill jumping on and a gear change but the big price looks justified here.
#5 Master Zephyr (T Haydon, G Boss )
Barrier 8, 54kg
Beaten 10L last start in the Brisbane Cup when sent around as a $101 shot. This is obviously easier and prior form through Le Juge looks good enough for this. On the quick back-up is always a positive and if gets luck in running can see him being in the finish.
#6 High Opinion (K Lees, L Cassidy)
Barrier 7, 54kg
Not competitive last start over 2400m at Rosehill in a listed race but prior form looks good for this – competitive in 4 prior starts including going down very narrowly to the Queensland Oaks winner Winning Ways. It is a bit concerning that he was not able to win one of those races however. Looks drawn to get a nice run midfield and 1 off the fence and expect to be one of the main players here.
#7 Fighting Teo (K Kemp, L Tarrant)
Barrier 2, 54kg
Racing in good form having won last 2 starts. Steps up in distance and grade from the Class 5 over 1625m @ Toowoomba last start but the figures out of that race were strong and won with a little bit in hand. Prior won a BM75 over 2000m @ Doomben beating Duchess Of Lennox narrowly but did seem to have every possible chance that day. Drawn to get a nice run in barrier 2 and will be up on the speed in a moderately run race. Can see why the market has latched on to him but I don’t think there is any value in the current price.
#8 Ruby Guru (M Nolan, D Smith)
Barrier 5 , 54kg
Did win last start over 2400m at the Sunshine Coast and dropping back to 2150m should be fit here. Likely to be outside the lead in a slowly run race so should be advantaged by race shape. Only managed to get up narrowly sat outside the lead. The first 3 across the line were the first 3 in running and you could have thrown a blanket over them at the finish with less than a length separating the first 5 across the line. Not the type of lead up run that gets me excited.
#9 Zanyetta (P Duncan, S Cormack)
Barrier 1, 54kg
Former NZ galloper that has had 2 starts for P Duncan over here. Has run ok in both of them – beaten 3L by Intrinsic over 1400m at the Sunshine Coast before going down by 2L to Lota Creek Gold last start this track over 1700m. Worked well enough to the line both times and looks to be suited over this distance having won 3 races over 2100m when in NZ. Probably not the best set up stepping up to 2100m here and is a big jump in grade but again don’t know enough about the NZ form to have a strong opinion either way here.
#10 Terra Sancta (A Pike, J Byrne)
Barrier 4, 54kg
Can forgive the first up run at Doomben when went around as a $101 shot but last start this track over 1700m was sent around well in the market at $4. Got back against a decent lead speed and though worked ok to the line think there were several horses going better than her late. Gets the blinkers back on here and from a good draw if can be positive should get a nice run but tough to be with her on her Austrlaian runs.
#11 Mymming (S Kendrick, R Wiggins)
Barrier 9, 54kg
One of my favourite horses in QLD but I don’t think she is particularly well suited here. Up to 2000m when I think her best distance is the mile and from barrier 9 looks likely to be ridden cold against the moderate to slow tempo. Would like to see her win but she will be going around without my hard earned.
I can’t say that I’m overly excited about this race. With the relatively small field and lack of pace in the race there seems to be only a few strong winning chances and all of them have been well-found. I do think the favourite is too short at the current $3.4 quote and is likely to drift. I think High Opinion is the most likely firmer but in all honesty I find it hard to see myself having a bet in this race unless the market changes dramatically.
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