Trainer Darren Weir said that Puccini is in fine order as he prepares to back up in the Listed $175,000 Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) at Ipswich on Saturday.
Puccini went around in the Group 2 $300,000 Evergreen Turf Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday, finishing six lengths behind Benzini in eighth place.
The five year old has had an easy week and will be facing a lot weaker opposition in the Ipswich Cup.
“He’s having a quiet week after racing last Saturday,” Weir told Racing Queensland News.
“Puccini’s been a bit hit and miss at the moment, he’s drawn out (Barrier 9) so that should help him a bit.”
“I’m a country guy, but when you’ve got a large team you’ve got all sorts of horses that need different races.”
“Something like Ipswich though, that’s terrific prize money.”
Puccini hasn’t been in the winner’s circle since winning the Group 1 NZ$200,000 Harcourts Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham, New Zealand in January 2015 but looked like returning to his best form with a second to stalemate Real Love two starts back in the Group 3 $125,000 Channel Seven Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Doomben on May 28.
Irish jockey John Allen takes the ride on Puccini, replacing Kerrin McEvoy who has been aboard the five year old for both his Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival runs.
Puccini has been allocated the top weight of 59.5kg for the Ipswich Cup and is rated among the top chances in the betting at $6 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The David Vandyke trained Maurus heads the market order at $2.45 with the Chris Waller trained Dance Of Heroes the second pick at $5.50 ahead off Sunshine Coast four year old Worthy Cause also at $6.
Maurus is dropping back from Group 1 company and will find this a lot easier than his last start fifth to Our Ivanhowe in the Group 1 $650,000 Hardy Brothers Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben on May 21.
At his previous start Maurus scored a soft win over Volkhere and Ipswich Cup rival Instrumentalist in a 2200m Handicap at Doomben on April 30.
Ipswich Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.45 Maurus, $5.50 Dance Of Heroes, $6 Worthy Cause, Puccini, $7.50 Iggi Pop, $8.50 Jumbo Prince, $26 Instrumentalist, $41 Nissile, $61 Meru, Kurrajong Dragon.