Race 1 - 12:08pm
XXXX Gold Ipswich Mile (1666m)
This is an ideal race for Heart Of A Warrior. He has performed strongly without winning in his past four race starts, but this is the easiest race that he has contested for some time. He will be able to take up the running from barrier four and he will prove very tough to run down. He has two wins from as many starts at Ipswich on his racing resume and he is a good bet to make it a third.
5 Units Heart Of A Warrior
Race 2 - 12:43pm
Schweppes Tl Cooney Handicap (1350m)
Tony Gollan has a strong hand in this race and I am confident that he will train the winner. Dee Nine Elle does not win out of turn, but this looks like the perfect race for her. She is another horse that will make her own luck right up on the speed and she has a great record at Ipswich. Her stablemate Salmanazar has easily the most upside in this field. This is a big step-up in class, but there was plenty to like about his performances at both Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast. They are the two horses to beat and I am happy to back them both.
3 Units Dee Nine Elle
2 Units Salmanazar
Race 3 - 1:20pm
Sirromet Bundamba Plate (1100m)
This is a tricky betting race. Sir Donald was very impressive on debut and he is a deserving favourite, but there is no edge at his current price of $2.15. Happy Event is unders at $3.60 and there are reasons to oppose both Spot The Diff and Lauderdale. I am more than happy to stay out of this race from a betting perspective.
Race 4 - 1:57pm
Ipswich Dash (1100m)
This is a very big field and luck in running is going to prove vital. Wicked Intent won at this track and distance 12 months ago and this is the perfect race for him. Barrier 15 is far from ideal, but he does have plenty of tactical speed and if he is able to cross this field and take up the running he will prove tough to wear down. Shades Of Bella is another horse that has drawn poorly, but there was plenty to like about her last start win at Caulfield. Darren Weir would not have a horse at this meeting if he didn’t think she could win and she represents good money at her current price.
2 Unit Wicked Intent
1 Unit Shades Of Bella
Race 5 - 2:37pm
Provincial Stayers Series Final (2150m)
This another tricky betting race and it is hard to find any real value. Caillebotte is a deserving favourite, but it is tough to get excited about him at his current price and the barrier draw is a nightmare. The one horse that does offer some value is the first emergency Mandryka, but he is not certain to get a start in this race. He has not been in the best of form this preparation, but he does enjoy this trip and he is worth a small bet if he gets a run.
1 Unit Mandryka
Race 6 - 3:17pm
Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m)
This is an interesting edition of the Ipswich Cup. Maurus is definitely the class horse in this field and there was plenty to like about his fifth place finish in the Ipswich Cup, but there are some question marks in this race. He does not have a great deal of early speed and he will likely be forced to settle in the second half of the field, which is not where you want to be at Ipswich. He can definitely win, but there is a big risk taking the price of $2.45 that is currently on offer. Puccini took up the running in the Premier’s Cup and he was only run down late by Real Love. Similar tactics in the Ipswich Cup would give him every possible chance to return to winning form.
1 Unit Puccini
Race 7 - 3:57pm
Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m)
Trubia has opened up as a clear favourite, but he is another horse that I am keen to take on at his current price. This is a drop in class and he was only plain in the QTC Cup. Barrier one is also far from ideal for a horse with his racing style. Saluter is the value selection in this race. He was given an easy kill first-up at the Sunshine Coast and he has since been kept fresh for this race. His form in similar races to this in the summer was excellent and he will make his own luck on the speed. Ninth Legion has offered little this preparation, but his best form is good enough to win this race and he is another that will be right on the speed.
2 Units Saluter
1 Unit Ninth Legion
Race 8 - 4:33pm
Listed Gai Waterhouse Classic (1350m)
This is a very interesting betting race and a good way to finish for punters. This is the easiest race that Echo Gal has contested for some time and she is set to get a fairly easy lead with Tegan Harrison in the saddle. This looks like the perfect race for her and she can return to winning form. I am happy to oppose both Scarlet Billows and Serenade. Serenade was good in the Bright Shadow, but the form coming out of that race has been weak, while Scarlet Billows looks as though she might have gone over the top after flat efforts in the Robert Sangster Stakes and the Doomben 10,000.
2 Units Echo Gal