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A trip to Queensland for next month’s Brisbane Cup 2016 could be on the cards for the in-form Iggi Pop if Peter Robl’s veteran puts his best foot forward in Sydney on Saturday.
The rising eight-year-old son of Savabeel is engaged to run at Randwick Racecourse in the $100,000 Listed W.J. McKell Cup (2400m).
Drawn wide out in barrier 13 of 14 in the quality handicap clash, Grant Buckley retains the ride on Iggi Pop after riding him to a second place finish behind Messene in the Listed Wagga Wagga Gold Cup (2000m) last time out.
That followed the galloper’s second to Honey Toast in the Listed Toowoomba Cup (2000m) in April and Iggi Pop is currently at $14 in WJ McKell Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au to go one better this weekend.
He chases his first win since the Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) over the two miles at Eagle Farm in July of 2014, so it has been a long time between drinks for the stayer.
Set to appreciate the step up to 2400m on the weekend, Iggi Pop faces some top talent in the McKell Cup including the odds-on $1.55 favourite Raw Impulse.
Melbourne Cup winning horseman Darren Weir saddles-up the imported top fancy, Makfi four-year-old Raw Impulse coming off three straight wins in Melbourne including a 2.75 length success over 2000m at Caulfield on May 14.
If Iggi Pop can run well, Robl said the injury-prone warhorse could chase bigger races during the tail end of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
After getting the galloper back to the track after a tendon injury ruled him out of racing throughout all of 2015, Robl is just happy to have the gelding racing so well with the McKell Cup his fifth start since his return.
“It’s great to get him back to the races and to see him going so well,” Robl told AAP.
“He bowed a tendon and it was a significant injury which needed 12 months in the paddock.
“He’s a wonderful old fella and I’m pleased with him going into the race although the barrier is not ideal.”
Formerly prepared by John O’Shea and then John Sargent when the former became the head trainer for Godolphin’s Australian operation, Iggi Pop has been with Sargent’s former foreman Robl since the jockey-turned-trainer got his licence late last year.
All going well on Saturday, Robl is looking at getting the horse back out over 3200m with a possible run in the Stayer’s Cup in Sydney in a couple of weeks.
Other options include a trip to Queensland for a tougher class race like the $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) on Stradbroke Handicap Day, June 11.
“He won the Queensland Cup over 3200 metres a couple of years ago,” Robl said.
“There’s also the Brisbane Cup and the Caloundra Cup. We’ll make a decision after Saturday.
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