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Toowoomba trained middle distance galloper Emphasis will be better suited back to handicap conditions in Saturday’s Listed $175,000 Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) at Ipswich according to his trainer Richie Stephenson.

Emphasis above, is better suited under handicap conditions in the 2018 Ipswich Cup at Ipswich. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Emphasis above, is better suited under handicap conditions in the 2018 Ipswich Cup at Ipswich. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Emphasis is coming off a last start seventh in the weight for age Group 3 $125,000 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1630m) at Doomben on May 26 and his jockey Mark Du Plessis is happy to stick with the five year old.

“Mark was happy with the run. The track was terrible and Emphasis just didn’t handle it,” Stephenson told AAP.

“Emphasis wasn’t suited at weight-for-age and he is much better off at handicap conditions at Ipswich.”

Even though Emphasis finished almost five lengths behind the winner Duca Valentinois in the Lord Mayor’s Cup, Richardson said that several other jockeys were chasing the ride in the Ipswich Cup, but he was happy to keep Du Plessis in the saddle.

“A few other top jockeys must have seen the run because they rang for the ride. But I couldn’t go back on my word,” Stephenson said.

Emphasis is the winner of seven of his thirty-seven race starts with his last visit to the winner’s stall being in December last year in a 2020m Quality Handicap at Doomben.

Betting for the 2018 Ipswich Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au has Emphasis marked as a $17 chance while the Darren Weir trained Tradesman sits at the top of the market order at $1.80.

Tradesman is coming off a last start second to Egg Tart in the Group 2 $200,000 Bradford Access Insulation P.J. O’Shea Stakes (2200m) at the Sunshine Coast on June 2 and is the one to beat.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Ecuador is on the second line of betting at $5.50 with Smart As You Think the only other runner under the $10 mark at $8.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.