Peter Moody’s veteran import Voila Ici will continue on in Queensland this weekend backing up from a good run in the Eagle Farm Cup after being nominated for the Ipswich Cup 2013.
A total of 25 stayers were nominated for this year’s $200,000 Listed Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) the highest rated of which is eight-year-old Daylami stallion Voila Ici.
Bought over from Europe to target last year’s spring cup features, Voila Ici made an initial good impression with some nice Melbourne runs including their second to subsequent Cox Plate winner Ocean Park in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and their close fourth to Green Moon, who would go on to win the iconic Melbourne Cup, in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
When it came to the crunch for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups however Voila Ici failed to make an impression finishing dead last and then a distant 13th respectively.
Things looked to have gone from bad to worse when they retuned off a five month break in Sydney this autumn with their first-up performance being 18th of 18th to Havana Rey in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m).
Two more below par efforts were to follow before they improved greatly getting up to the 2200m on a Slow track at Eagle Farm on June 1 to finish under a length away third to Quintessential in the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup.
Connections will now take them to Ipswich where they will be hoping for another softer track for the Ipswich Cup much to the delight of the Ipswich Turf Club.
“He’d be the classiest horse we’ve had in the Cup for quite a few years,” Ipswich Turf Club general manager Brett Kitching said.
“At his fourth start he won at Longchamp in France and then in Rome before coming to Australia.”
Other big name interstate raiders also among the Ipswich Cup nominations this year include the Graeme Boyd-trained rising nine-year-old Kiwi galloper Ginga Dude, Lloyd Kennewell’s former Adelaide Cup winner Rialya and the Leon Corstens-trained 2012 SA Derby winner Zabeelionaire who was sixth in last year’s Caulfield Cup as well as a close fifth in the Mackinnon before their Melbourne Cup run in the spring.
“The Cup probably has more depth this year than recent years,” Kitching said.
“There have always been good horse in the races and good horses have won it but this year there are more good horses.”
As for the top Queensland chances standouts include the Kelly Schweida-trained Fastnet Rock gelding What Happenedhenry, last start Listed Strawberry Road Handicap winner Tokamak, Kelso Wood’s consistent Gold Coast-based mare Awesome Ransom, Tony Gollan’s Toowoomba Cup winning mare Bang On and local hope Dodging Eddie who ran second in last week’s Toowoomba Cup.
A notable omission from the weekend’s top race meanwhile was reigning Ipswich Cup winner Shenzhou Steeds after their disappointing 13th to Moriarty in last Saturday’s Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m).
Shenzhou Steeds’ Melbourne-based trainer Michael Moroney will still be represented in the cup on the weekend however having nominated for Warrnambool Cup runner-up Muirfield.
Check out the full 2013 Ipswich Cup nominations in the table below and stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the updates on the staying showdown.
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2013 Ipswich Cup Nominations
Ipswich Racecourse – 15/06/2013
|2||AWESOME RANSOM (NZ)||Kelso Wood||78|
|3||BANG ON||Tony Gollan||89.5|
|4||BOREHOLE||David J Lawlor||72|
|5||BUFFETT (NZ)||Bruce W Hill||74.5|
|7||DAZZLE US||Bruce W Hill||80|
|8||DODGING EDDIE||Michael Nolan||76|
|9||GINGA DUDE (NZ)||Graeme Boyd||103|
|10||GOLD CAPE||John Wheeler||84|
|11||HIGH KIN (NZ)||David Greene||–|
|12||I GOTTA FEELING (NZ)||John Wheeler||79|
|13||MASTER AVATAR||Gary Duncan||81|
|14||MUIRFIELD (NZ)||Michael Moroney||–|
|17||SECRET GARDEN||Paul Nolan (Jnr)||83|
|20||TUSKEGEE HAWK||Len Treloar||78|
|21||VOILA ICI (IRE)||Peter G Moody||106|
|22||WARRIOR WITHIN||Bruce W Hill||86|
|23||WHAT HAPPENEDHENRY||Kelly Schweida||84|
|24||ZA MAGIC||Brian Smith||84|
|25||ZABEELIONAIRE (NZ)||Leon Corstens||100|