The weekend’s feature race favourite Big Duke...
The in-form training partnership of Ciaron Maher & Davie Eustace remain focused on the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival this weekend with their Irish-bred stayer Mask Of Time early favourite in Ipswich Cup 2019 betting.
The five-year-old Holy Roman Emperor entire is one of 19 nominations for Saturday’s Listed $175,000 Channel Seven Ipswich Cup (2150m) and is one of three for the stable entered for the popular handicap clash.
Maher & Eustace nominated for the well-supported trio: Mask Of Time, Lite’n In My Veins and So You Think mare Sopressa.
Of those it is Mask Of Time, last seen finishing a disappointing 10th at the Gold Coast on May 4 in the Group 2 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m), leading all-in Ipswich Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The galloper, who was hampered that run by the Heavy (10) track and 59kg weight, pays $3.50 pre-field to atone after a freshen-up with success in the Ipswich Cup.
Having taken on the world’s best racehorse Winx in the autumn when unplaced in the Group 1 $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), the Ipswich Cup certainly shapes up as a winnable race for Mask Of Time.
The import chases just his second win on Aussie soil and his first turf triumph since the Group 3 Coongy Handicap (2000m) at Caulfield back in October of 2018.
Stablemate Lite’n My Veins is also popular in the early Ipswich Cup odds online sitting as the equal $5 second elect with the Kris Lees-trained High Opinion, while Sopressa is third favourite at $6.
A Group 3 winner in Perth with a recent victory over the mile at Morphettville on the record, the Henrythenavigator six-year-old comes off an Eagle Farm run from late May when 4.2 lengths beaten in the Group 3 Lord Mayors Cup (1600m).
Sopressa was also unplaced in Brisbane last time out, the four-year-old running a midfield seventh behind Sixties Groove in last Saturday’s Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) on the back of a Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2500m) second at Morphettville.
As for main danger to a Maher / Eustace victory in the Ipswich Cup markets, High Opinion enjoyed a string of placings earlier this prep including his second to Abdon in the Listed Wagga Cup (2000m) before a last start seventh in Rosehill’s Listed WJ McKell Cup (2400m) on June 1.
Other notable Ipswich Cup nominees this winter include the flying Kevin Kemp-trained Fighting Teo, Bergerac and Travistee.
Toowoomba-trained Teofilo four-year-old Fighting Teo is the form horse in the Ipswich Cup having won his last two races on the trot.
Two back he saluted over 2000m at Doomben after a Gold Coast Cup fourth in the mud, then back at home on June 2 he carried 59kg to a 1.5 length win over the mile as the odds-on favourite.
Bergerac is one of the highest-rated nominations for the Ipswich Cup 2019 and also hails from Toowoomba.
Prepared by Steve Tregea, the Drumbeats gelding is yet to win over a mile and is looking to make amends for his ninth to Vinland in the Listed Wayne Wilson (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.
Smart Tavistock mare Travistee meanwhile has terrific form over the Ipswich Cup distance (4:2-2-0) and is looking to capitalise on her excellent lead-up performances.
She ran second to The Candy Man on May 18 at the Gold Coast on May 18, the form of that race franked with the winner going on to take out the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) in Brisbane next-up.
Travistee was last seen winning the Gatton Cup (2000m) on June 1.
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