Adelaide gelding Conservatorium can make some sort of amends for narrowly missing a Stradbroke start when he tackles the Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich on Saturday.
The five-year-old went down in heartbreaking fashion in the QTC Cup last Saturday week when a photo finish revealed he was beaten by the shortest of margins.
A win there would have seen him lining up in the $1.36 million Stradbroke but he instead heads west of Brisbane this weekend to compete for a share of $175,000.
It was the second close defeat in two starts for the Gary Kennewell-trained gelding who also took runner-up honours in the Group 1 Goodwood at Morphetville last month.
Kennewell’s son Lloyd believes the son of Royal Academy is well placed to turn strong performances into victory this weekend.
“He’s spot on with a dollar sign,” Kennewell told Radio Sports National.
“The old man couldn’t be happier with him.
“With the barrier four draw he’s going to get in a really good position. Around Ipswich that’s especially important.”
Kennewell is hoping for a father-son double on Ipswich’s biggest day of racing as he will also be cheering home his own charge Rialya in the $200,000 Ipswich Cup (2150m).
The race has been the target all preparation for the 2012 Adelaide Cup winner, with Kennewell deliberately bypassing last weekend’s Brisbane Cup in order to have him at the top of his game.
“His work’s been super. He’s always been a pretty handy worker but he’s acclimatised pretty well,” he said.
“I think he’s really well weighted and looks ideally placed.
“The reason we bypassed the Brisbane Cup last week was to focus on this race and keep the sprint in his legs.”
Rialya has opened as a $19 chance in Ipswich Cup betting, with Peter Moody-trained import Voila Ici the favourite at $3.50.