Tough stayer Puccini is among a handful of stayers nominated for the Listed $175,000 Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) at Ipswich on Saturday.
The Queensland Winter Carnival focuses on Ipswich this week but the Ipswich Turf Club has been forced to extend nominations for their feature staying race until 9am on Tuesday, 14th June, when only ten horses were entered.
Puccini will be lining up for his third start in four weeks if Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir decides to send the five year old around again this week.
The Encosta De Lago five year kicked off his Queensland Winter Carnival campaign with a twelfth to Leebaz in the Group 2 $358,000 All-New Jaguar F-Pace A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 7 but then three weeks later showed a marked improvement when second to stablemate Real Love in the Group 3 $125,000 Channel Seven Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Doomben.
Puccini was then going to start the following week in the Group 2 $250,000 Pages Event Equipment Hire Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm but when that meeting was washed out, the five year old then had his next run in last Saturday’s Group 2 $300,000 Evergreen Turf Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm when he never threatened to finish eighth behind Benzini.
Trainer David Vandyke has nominated Maurus who ran a career best race last start when fifth, beaten less than two lengths, to the Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Our Ivanhowe in the Group 1 $650,000 Hardy Brothers Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben on May 21.
Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has two entries for the Ipswich Cup, 2015 Newcastle Cup winner Beyond Thankful and restricted class galloper Dance Of Heroes.
Beyond Thankful has been struggling to regain his Spring form with his best recent run being three starts back when fourth to Guardini in the Group 3 $150,000 Sharp Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m) at Randwick on April 16.
The six year old’s latest effort saw him run sixth to the front running Ecuador in the Listed $100,000 W J McKell Cup (2400m) at Randwick on May 28.
English import Dance Of Heroes has been working his way up through the classes and two starts back was successful in winning a 2000m BenchMark 89 Handicap at Rosehill on May 21 followed by a fifth with 61kg in an 1800m BenchMark 84 Handicap at Randwick a week later.
“Dance Of Heroes is likely to go because he should get a good track,” Waller said.
“But Beyond thankful needs it wet so he will stay in Sydney.”
Brisbane’s premier trainer Tony Gollan has nominated Amexed while Matthew Dunn will be looking to Caillebotte to represent the stable.