The major action from Queensland’s winter carnival is over but there is still black-type racing in the Sunshine State and this Saturday’s feature is the Listed 2013 Queensland Cup (3200m) at Eagle Farm.
As one of the few remaining 3200m races on the Australian racing calendar, the race always offers plenty of intrigue and gives some genuine stayers a chance to show their talents.
Twelve horses will contest the long-distance test, with Peter Moody-trained import Ibicenco currently a $2.40 favourite in the Queensland Cup market.
Not fat behind in betting are Victorian pair Turner Bayou ($4.20) and Verdant ($4.40) while Muirfield ($7) is also under double figures.
#1 Ibicenco $2.40
Yes, he’s short and yes, he’s got to carry the topweight of 59kg but he simply looks the classiest horse in the field. The further the better for Ibicenco and he finally gets his best distance here. Won the 3200m Sandwon Cup in November and has shown promise in three lead-up runs this time in. Comes off a fourth-place finish in the Group 3 Tatt’s Cup (2200m) and the extra distance should be all he needs to find his way into the winner’s stall.
#3 Verdant $4.40
Another horse coming through the Tatt’s Cup (sixth) and another horse who simply loves an extra long trip. Hasn’t won since the spring when he took out back-to-back races in Melbourne over 3000m and 2800m. Will stay all day which is particularly helpful when plenty of his rivals are stepping up to the distance for the first time.
#12 Fifth Column $51
A genuine roughie but looks a progressive stayer and a big win in heavy conditions at Ipswich last month shows he is a fairly tough and versatile three-year-old. The rise in distance and class may have come too soon but outside the top couple it is hardly the most inspiring field.
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