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Our Lukas

Our Lukas is chasing a third straight Ipswich Cup

It would be arguably the greatest Ipswich Cup victory in the modern era if Our Lukas could turn up with a winning run tomorrow afternoon.

The odds are stacked against him and there doesn’t appear to be a lot of upside to his prospects on paper going into the race.

That is of course with one big exception, he’s won the last two in a row.

It was a never before witness achievement when he claimed his second Ipswich Cup title in 2010 but it’s a very different situation going into tomorrow.

His form has been horrible in Brisbane, in fact he hasn’t been in his last three runs at any time.

The Listed Strawberry Road Handicap has been his final lead up event before the cup for the last three years, in 2009 he was a close third, in 2010 he won it but this year he run 11th.

Previous to that he was dead last in the Lord Mayor’s Cup and in the Hollindale Stakes he beat home just three other horses.

Trainer Robert Heathcote can’t work out why the horse is running the way he is, especially givne his first up runs were quite good.

“It’s been disappointing and baffling. He looked set for a good campaign when he finished second to Scenic Shot over a mile second up,” Heathcote said.

“The track was a bit soft that day and I don’t know if the hard run second up just flattened him.

“I’m just hoping getting back to Ipswich at the same time might give him a bit of spark. He’s unbeaten in three runs at the track and distance.

“We’ll ride him aggressively and hope he decides to let go.”

That’s pretty much all the confidence Heathcote can offer at the moment, he’s done it before so they live in hope he can do it again.

“It’s going to be tough,” Heathcote said.

“It’s plain to see he’s down on his form compared to his previous two Ipswich Cup wins.

“ We’ve done lots of tests and his trackwork has been sensational. He looks great and seems to be in great spirits but he’s just not racing with the same enthusiasm and zest of the last couple of years.

“We’re going into the race hopeful. He’s got a good barrier. It’s essential Shane gets him to jump and run and if he can be up on the speed and recover some of his old form we know he can be competitive.”

It’s not just form that stands in the way of the now rising eight-year-old, so too does a huge 58kg weight.

If he were to win it would set a new weight carrying record in the Ipswich Cup

The only real upside is that the 2011 field is probably not as strong as what he’s faced in the previous couple of years.

In addition, he will be partnered by experienced jockey Shane Scriven and jump from barrier two in the field of 15.

Whatever happens in the race he will be spelled immediately with Heathcote ruling out another shot at the Caloundra Cup where he’s finsihed well back the last two years.

“He’ll go to the paddock. We’ve had a couple of cracks at the Caloundra Cup and I think he’s a 2000m horse to be honest. His successes at Ipswich have been because it’s a smaller circumference track.”

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