After a successful treble last Ipswich Cup Day, Sunshine Coast-based hoop Damian Browne returns to the same meeting this weekend with Maurus heading his shot at more Black-Type glory at the track.
Browne has a 30% winning strike rate across all tracks in the last 12 months, but rides at Ipswich Racecourse this Saturday for the first time in a year.
He had gone three years between visits to Ipswich until last Cup Day when he got lost on way to the venue, before atoning with a trio of victories aboard Wicked Intent, Rock Royalty and Smokin Joey who saluted in the $175,000 Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m).
Browne also ran third aboard the Andrew Williamson-trained Darci Be Good in last year’s $175,000 Listed Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) behind Chris Waller’s winner Danchai.
He gets the chance to go two better in the weekend’s feature on Saturday, booked to ride Saturday’s 2016 Ipswich Cup favourite Maurus for the former Sydney-based David Vandyke who now has stables at the Sunshine Coast.
“I usually like just riding in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast but it was good to come to Ipswich on a big day and ride a treble last year,” Browne told AAP this week.
“I have a strong book of rides and I might get a winner again.”
Medicean five-year-old Maurus is one of 10 remaining hopes in the Ipswich Cup field this Queensland Winter Racing Carnival after the early withdrawal of Adirondack (10).
A first-up winner in late April over 2200m at Doomben, Maurus was last seen crossing under two lengths away fifth to Our Ivanhowe in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m).
He drops notably in class then for his Ipswich Cup bid where Browne replaces Blake Spriggs in the saddle.
Maurus also drops from 59kg last time out to 58kg on Saturday and sits top of the Ipswich Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying a firming $2.45 for the win, a deserving price according to his trainer.
“It was a good run in the Doomben Cup because he had to make a long run and he was still there in the final stages,” Vandyke said of the Paul Fudge’s Waratah Thoroughbreds-owned galloper.
Browne has a total of four rides across the card starting with the Kelly Schweida-trained Choisir four-year-old Outraged ($7.50) in the first – the $60,000 XXXX Gold Ipswich Mile (1666m).
He then partners the Kris Lees-trained Import Artibai ($5) in the fifth, the $100,000 Queensland Times Winter Provincial Stayers Series Final (2150m) before his Cup ride on Maurus.
His day concludes in the Eye Liner Stakes where he shoots for back-to-back wins, this year aboard Peter Robl’s 59kg top weight Ninth Legion ($10).
To back Browne’s strong book of Ipswich Cup Day rides at the right price make sure you’ve got an account open online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost!