Group 1 winner Smokin’ Joey has been promoted to the top of the weights for the Listed $175,000 City Of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich after smart Kiwi sprinter Sacred Star wasn’t among the final acceptances.
The Tony Pike trained Sacred Star was the original topweight with 60kg when the weights were released on Tuesday with Smokin’ Joey second in line with 59.5kg.
With Sacred Star not running at Ipswich, the Wez Hunter trained Smokin’ Joey will lead the eleven horse Eye Liner Stakes field out on Ipswich Cup Day, the highlight of racing for the year for the City Of Ipswich.
Smokin’ Joey is a regular Group 1 performer and produced his best performance to win the 2014 Group 1 $500,000 The Tapestry Wines Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville.
The Encosta De Lago seven year old is backing up after finishing midfield when a three and three quarter lengths eighth to Srikandi in the Group 1 $2m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday and has drawn barrier seven in the Eye Liner Stakes.
Smokin’ Joey’s normal pattern of racing is to get back in the field and new jockey Damian Browne will have to make a long run on the tight Ipswich track to put the back marker into the race before the home turn.
Riva De Lago is looking to make it back to back wins after trainer Robert Heathcote was able to get the seven year old back into the winner’s stall at the Sunshine Coast last start when he beat Time For War and Pillar Of Creation in the Listed $175,000 HMR Projects Pty Ltd Glasshouse Handicap (1300m) at the Sunshine Coast on May 16.
Riva De Lago has drawn awkwardly at barrier nine with Jim Byrne taking over from Luke Nolen.
Toowoomba sprinter Pillar Of Creation will be taking on Riva De Lago again in the Eye Liner Stakes and the Tony Sears trained five year old has drawn nicely at gate two with Luke Tarrant retaining the ride.
The well performed North Queensland sprinter Daph ‘N’ Alf is making another trip to the South East corner and has drawn barrier five with apprentice Matthew McGuren who has recorded two wins on him at Mackay and Townsville.
Trainer Greg Wehlow has had plenty of success with Daph ‘N’ Alf on previous trips south with wins at Eagle Farm and the Sunshine Coast and he is coming to Ipswich on the back of a win over 1100m in the Woodman’s Mitre 10 Maria Stebbens Memorial at Mackay on May 23.
Top Melbourne trainer Peter Moody has elected to take on the older horses with Ulmann after the three year old missed out on gaining a start in the Group 2 $400,000 Sky Racing Queensland Guineas (1600m) at Doomben last Saturday.
Ulmann has come up with barrier six with Michael Cahill taking over from Luke Nolen who rode the Sebring colt into second spot behind Winx in the Group 3 $125,000 XXXX Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast on May 16.
Nite Rocker is another Queensland Winter Carnival visitor and Ric McMahon should be able to give the Adelaide sprinter the run of the race from barrier four.
The Llloyd Kennewell trained four year old ran a nice race when third to Charlie Boy in the Group 3 $125,000 Darley BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben on May 9 but then disappointed when last of twelve in the Listed $100,000 Landfill Logistics Ascot Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on May 23.