After a luckless run in The Wayne Wilson at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Day, jockey Jim Byrne expects Jumbo Prince to improve in Saturday’s 2016 Ipswich Cup if accepted.
Only 10 stayers were nominated for this weekend’s edition of the $175,000 Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m), entries extended until 9am (AEST) on Tuesday morning.
Among the early nominees is the Michael Nolan-trained Outback Prince four-year-old Jumbo Prince, a winner of 10 of his 33 starts to date.
Last weekend the smart stallion suffered a poor run throughout the Listed The Wayne Wilson (1600m) with Byrne aboard and failed to make an impact crossing 6.4 lengths away 14th to the locally-trained winner Hopfgarten.
Byrne said there were plenty of excuses to be made for Jumbo Prince, whose latest win was the Listed Members’ Handicap (1600m) at Doomben over Rudy in mid-May, and he would be sticking with him if he gets the all clear for an Ipswich Cup bid.
“He got caught deep and they walked in front,” Byrne told AAP.
“Forget the run. I expect to ride him in the Ipswich Cup if he recovers well.
Jumbo Prince has had two previous runs at the Ipswich track for a win over 1350m in November of 2014 and a second in January of that year.
He hasn’t raced over further than 1800m since June of last year, but his form over the extra metres is solid.
He ran third in last year’s Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m), crossed under two lengths away sixth in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2020m) and was third past the post to Magicool beaten only a length in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m) last Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Other notable Ipswich Cup entries this season include the in-form Matthew Dunn-trained Caillebotte, Dance Of Heroes for Chris Waller and David Vandyke’s Doomben Cup fifth placegetter Maurus.
Also nominated for the quick seven-day turnaround from last weekend is the Darren Weir-trained Encosta De Lago five-year-old Puccini.
The former New Zealand-trained stallion has never won a race down under, his latest victory being in NZ back in January last year in Group 1 class.
He caught the eye two back this campaign when runner-up to stablemate Real Love in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) before his eighth in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) over the mile and a half.
Weir’s gun mare, the former Perth-trained Real Love jumped favourite in the Brisbane Cup but could only manage to cross four lengths away fourth to Kiwi raider Benzini.
The Kiwis enjoyed a stellar day out in Brisbane with Cambridge horseman Tony Pike also winning a Group 1 double with Sacred Elixir in the Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) and Imposing Lass in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m).
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