Last year’s winning trainer Chris Waller will shoot for back-to-back wins in the 2016 Ipswich Cup this weekend confirming plans to accept for Dance Of Heroes in the Queensland feature.
Twelve months ago Sydney’s leading horseman Waller took out the handicap clash with Danchai (2015) who went on to run third to Kapour in Rosehill’s Listed Winter Cup (2400m) at his next start.
This Queensland Winter Racing Carnival Waller returns for another shot at the $175,000 Listed Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) with two of the original 10 early entries.
Ipswich Cup nominations have been extended until Tuesday morning in a bid to attract a bigger field, especially with Waller confirming he will not accept for his Whipper six-year-old Beyond Thankful.
“Beyond Thankful needs it wet so he will stay in Sydney,” Waller told AAP post-nominations.
The stable’s sole representative will be five-year-old Danehill Dancer gelding Dance Of Heroes who was last seen running fifth in a Benchmark 84 over 1800m at Randwick on May 28.
That followed on from a Rosehill win over 2000m and a fifth to Messene in the Listed Wagga Wagga Cup (2000m).
Dance Of Heroes will appreciate getting back up over that sort of distance on Saturday then, the European import chasing his maiden stakes win at career start number 27.
“Dance Of Heroes is likely to go because he should get a good track,” Waller said.
A notable omission from the nominations was the Tony Gollan-trained Brave Ali who will instead be saved for Saturday week’s $200,000 Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m) on Tattersall’s Tiara Day.
That will prepare the veteran for a shot at the $150,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) on July 14.
A nine-year-old son of O’Reilly, Brave Ali is approaching retirement and hasn’t won a race since the 2014 Ipswich Cup two years ago.
This campaign the old warhorse has had three unplaced runs, most recently a sixth last Saturday on Stradbroke Handicap Day behind Hopfgarten in the Listed The Wayne Wilson Mile (1600m).
“Brave Ali wasn’t suited the way the race was run on Saturday as there was little pace early. Provided he recovers OK we will press on with his campaign,” Gollan said.
“He is obviously getting near the end of his career and I think the Grafton Cup will be his ultimate goal.
Gollan has nominated for stablemate Amexed in the Ipswich Cup on Saturday, the Pentire five-year-old coming off a third at Toowoomba in a Benchmark 80 over 1650m on May 21.
If accepted it will be the New Zealand-bred galloper’s first Black-Type start since a fifth to Sonntag in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) as a three-year-old in 2014.
While Brave Ali hasn’t been entered for the short back-up into the Ipswich Cup from last weekend, the Michael Nolan-trained Jumbo Prince has.
The four-year-old ran a luckless 14th in The Wayne Wilson and jockey Jim Byrne is confident of atonement even with the seven days between runs.
Stay tuned for the latest on the Ipswich Cup 2016, betting for which will open later in the week at Ladbrokes.com.au.