Veteran stayer Ironstein was a surprise inclusion in the 2014 Ipswich Cup nominations that were released yesterday.
Ironstein was included in the nominations for both the Ipswich Cup in Queensland and the Kensei Handicap (2000m) that will be run at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday and trainer Gerald Ryan confirmed that he is seriously considering sending the eight-year-old to Ipswich for the Listed event.
“I have to talk it over with all the owners and see how the race comes up,” Ryan told AAP.
“He is entered for both races and it won’t matter if it’s 2000 metres or the 2150 at Ipswich.”
Ironstein has not recorded a race win since he took out the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington during the 2011 Spring Racing Carnival, but the son of Zabeel has performed well since returning to the races in April.
The tough gelding resumed with a fair fifth behind Kaypers in the TAB Early Quaddie Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 26 and he was far from disgraced in the Listed Scone Cup (1600m) on May 16 before finishing a close fourth in the Eremein Handicap (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on May 31.
Ironstein is one of 18 gallopers that remains a chance of contesting the Listed $175,000 Ipswich Cup (2150m) on Saturday; with New Zealand Group 1 winner Military Move set to start the race as one of the favourites.
Military Move, who won the 2010 edition of the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m), made his Australian racing debut with a disappointing performance in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 3 and produced an improved performance in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Doomben on May 24 before taking out the Toowoomba Cup on June 1.
Leading Queensland trainer Robert Heathcote won back-to-back editions of the Ipswich Cup with Our Lukas in 2009 and 2010 and has included veteran gelding Sam’s Town and last start placegetter Volkhere in the nominations for this year’s edition of the race.
Other possible Ipswich Cup runners include Peter Moody-trained Full Of Spirit, who performed well in both the Scone Cup and Eremein Handicap, and imported stayer Garud who is chasing his first race win since he took out the Pro-Ride Racing Handicap (2400m) by a dominant four lengths at Geelong in 2012.