Trainer Tony Gollan’s smart sprinter I’m A Rippa is on trial for a start in the 2019 Stradbroke Handicap when he steps out in the Group 2 $200,000 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Gollan srcratched I’m A Rippa from last Saturday’s Listed $125,000 Ascot Handicap (1200m) at Doomben because of the heavy track conditions but the five year old will get his preferred surface on Saturday with Eagle Farm rated a Good 4 on race eve.
“This was always the back-up plan for I’m A Rippa and the key with him is a good track,” Gollan told Racing Queensland News Desk.
“It’s the first time he’s raced at weight-for-age and it’s a smart little field so we’ll see how he performs.”
I’m A Rippa is stepping up to weight for age company and will be taking on the dual Everest winner Redzel and a competitive performance will see Gollan set the gelding for the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.
“I’d like to take him to the Stradbroke but he can always drop back to the second-tier races,” Gollan said.
I’m A Ripper will be having his first run back in the Victory Stakes following a successful campaign over the Queensland Summer Carnival with a win in the Group 3 $200,000 George Moore Stakes (1200m) at Doomben.
Early betting for the Victory Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has I’m A Rippa marked at $19 while the Team Snowden trained Redzel dominates the market at $1.60.
Redzel has proved himself to be one of the best sprinters in the country after winning the first two instalments of The Everest (1200m) at Randwick in 2017 ($10 million) and in 2018 ($13 million) but is struggling to find his best form and failed to win from three starts during the 2019 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
The Triple Crown Syndicated sprinter heads to Brisbane on the back of a last start sixth to Santa Ana Lane in the Group 1 $2.5m Aquis T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Day One of The Championships on April 6.
Redzel found the front in the early stages of the T J Smith Stakes but failed to hold out the challengers in the straight and jockey Kerrin McEvoy is confident the six year old can find his old winning form again.
“He travelled well for the first part of the race, span his wheels a little bit around the corner which had me worried and his effort was short lived in the straight. He’s better than that and hopefully we can get him back on track,” McEvoy said after the T J Smith Stakes.
Triple Crown Syndications manager Chris Ward said that Redzel had pulled up in good order following his disappointing run in the T J Smith Stakes and has arrived in Brisbane for the 2019 Winter Carnival in great order.
“He has come on fitness-wise since that last turn. Physically he’s looking a lot better, so he should be right on track,” Ward told The Courier-Mail.