Peter Moody’s staying import Ibicenco will carry the topweight of 59kg when he headlines a 13-horse field for Saturday’s Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) at Eagle Farm.
The genuine stayer is expected to relish the extra ground on offer in what is one of the few remaining 3200m races on Australian soil.
To be ridden by Brad Rawiller from barrier five, the five-year-old is having just his fourth start for Moody after arriving in the country under high profile international trainer Luca Cumani for last year’s spring carnival.
Ibicenco showed his appreciation for an out-and-out staying trip in November’s Sandown Cup (3200m) when he kept grinding to defeat tough Sydney stayer Reuben Percival.
In three lead-up runs this campaign the future stallion prospect has shown promise over less than ideal distances including a fourth-place finish in the Group 3 Tatt’s Cup (2200m) last month.
The German-bred galloper acquitted himself in staying races in Europe before finding a new home in Australia, with the highlight being a Group 1 runner-up in the 2011 Preis Von Europa at Cologne.
A somewhat surprising acceptor for Saturday’s Queensland feature is Peal Of Bells who was beaten 23 1/2 lengths when last in the Winter Cup at Rosehill on Monday.
The five-year-old went into the race as one of the favourites after producing a seven-length win in the Stayers Cup at his previous outing.
Robert Smerdon has accepted with British import Verdant who is also expected to appreciate a step up in distance after showing his staying ability to win 2800m and 3000m races in Melbourne last year.
Also in the field are last-start winners Dodging Eddie, Buffett, Clonmacnoise and Fifth Column.