The David Vandyke-trained Maurus made a one-act affair of the Listed Ipswich Cup over 2150m carrying the highest weight to victory in the metric era; ridden with great patience by champion jockey Damian Browne who settled Maurus last in the ten-horse field before Maurus was produced approaching the home turn and he swept past his rivals like they were nailed to the track. Under little or no pressure from Browne Maurus coasted to the line three and a half-lengths clear of Jumbo Prince with Instrumentalist another three and a quarter lengths away in third place. Maurus came into the Ipswich Cup with outstanding credentials with a last-start fifth behind Our Ivanhowe in the G1 Doomben Cup and he ran right-up to that form in the Ipswich Cup. Maurus' next start will be in the Caloundra Cup in a fortnight and in his current form it will be a surprise if he is beaten.
Ninth Legion's two runs from a spell were nothing short of abysmal but he was able to turn it all around to easily win the Listed Eye Liner Stakes over 1350m; it was another copybook ride from Damian Browne who had Ninth Legion perfectly placed third on the fence and he eased around the two leaders on the home turn. Ninth Legion then proved too strong for Beckham winning by a length with another two lengths to Steel Zip in third place. Not only did Ninth Legion come into the Eye Liner with poor form he also had not won a race since January 2015; however Ninth Legion was by far and away the class runner of the field with a second in the G2 Apollo Stakes at Randwick, a second in the G2 Ajax Stakes at Rosehill and a third behind Winx in the G2 Theo Marks at Rosehill in his 2015 CV. It was a great training effort by ex-jockey Peter Robl to have Ninth Legion near his best again and he will be competitive on firmish tracks in his future runs.
The Liam Birchley-trained Blueberry Hill showed a lot of promise as a 2-Y-O winning the G2 Champagne Classic at Doomben but she had shown little in four runs from a spell this preparation; however Blueberry Hill with James Orman in the saddle came from last with a withering run in the straight to win the Listed Gai Waterhouse Classic for fillies and mares over 1350m. Gai Waterhouse looked a big chance of winning the race named in her honour when her mare Echo Gal swept to the lead early in the straight but Echo Gal had no answer to the finishing burst of Blueberry Hill and she weakened to finish third. Liam Birchley provided the quinella with Elusive Catch battling-on strongly for second. Now that Blueberry Hill has returned to the winner's circle it will be no surprise if she continues to be very competitive in her future runs this campaign.
HORSES TO FOLLOW
|1||Artie Dee Two||Foxplay||Blackjack Bella
Prince Of Brooklyn
Chance To Dance