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The Kevin Kemp-trained Toowoomba galloper Fighting Teo has gained favouritism in the 2019 Ipswich Cup field and betting markets after the non-acceptance of pre-post fancy Mask Of Time.
The Queensland Winter Racing Carnival action heads to Ipswich on Saturday for the Listed $175,000 Channel Seven Ipswich Cup (2150m), the event attracting a mediocre field of just 11 hopefuls.
Updated Ipswich Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Teofilo four-year-old Fighting Teo as new $3.40 favourite with jockey Luke Tarrant continuing his association from barrier two.
The horse has won his last two races when successful over 2000m at Doomben to defeat Chris Waller’s progressive filly Duchess Of Lennox on May 18 before a Class 5 win at his home track over the mile on June 2.
Fighting Teo carted 59kg to a 1.5 length win that day and will relish the drop back to just 54kg on Saturday as he prepares to go up to the 2000m distance again.
Kemp was disappointed with time wasted targeting the horse’s home cup earlier this year, but has confidence heading into the Ipswich Cup after a recent string of good runs that also included a brave fourth behind The Lord Mayor on a Heavy (9) track in the Gold Coast Cup (2400m) at the start of May.
“As it turned out we missed a [Toowoomba] Cup run and it meant a month between runs for his next start when he got well beaten,” Kemp told AAP this week.
“But since then he has been racing well with two wins and what I thought was a good fourth in the Gold Coast Cup.
“He deserves his chance in a stakes race but even though a lot of the southern horses have gone home, it will still be a tough race to win.
“On the other hand, he gets in with the minimum of 54kg.”
There are three other single-figure hopefuls in the current Ipswich Cup betting markets including the $4.20 second elect High Opinion for trainer Kris Lees.
Another well-weighted hope on 54kg, High Opinion is drawn barrier seven with Larry Cassidy booked to ride the veteran seven-year-old.
A perennial placegetter, the galloper ran second three times on the trot earlier this year including finishing just off Abdon in the Listed Wagga Cup (2000m) in early May.
His last start was at Rosehill on June 1 when midfield in the Listed W.J. McKell Cup (2400m), Lees hoping the drop down in distance will see him return to better form on Ipswich Cup Day.
The other best in betting are the Steve Tregea-trained Bergerac ($4.80) carrying 57.5kg and early market mover Terra Sancta ($10 into $7.50).
Drumbeats five-year-old Bergerac is out to atone for his unplaced run when four lengths off Vinland when ninth at Eagle Farm in last weekend’s Listed Wayne Wilson (1600m).
He was hampered that run and deserving of a closer finish, which he can bounce back from and get on Saturday with better luck.
Jim Byrne meanwhile rides the Kiwi raider Terra Sancta, a stablemate of the Tony Pike-trained Doomben 10,000 / Kingsford-Smith Cup double winner The Bostonian.
Drawn well in gate four, the four-year-old Pierro mare has her third run at Ipswich in the Cup and should be nearing peak fitness after a disappointing sixth place finish here on May 29 over 1700m.
Check out the full Ipswich Cup 2019 field, barriers and odds online now ahead of Saturday through Ladbrokes.com.au.
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