Moody runner heads classy Cup nominations
THE Peter Moody-trained Voila Ici heads the nominations for the $203,000 Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) on Saturday.
The club was delighted yesterday to receive 220 nominations for the program including 26 for the Cup, 29 for the $176,500 City of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) and 25 for the $101,500 Sky Racing World Gai Waterhouse Classic (1350m).
Voila Ici is an Irish-bred stallion who raced in France and Italy before being brought to Australia last year for the Melbourne Spring carnival.
His best runs there were a second to subsequent Cox Plate winner Ocean Park in the Underwood Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last September and a fourth to Green Moon, who went on to win the Melbourne Cup, in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last October.
His runs after that failed to flatter, including the Cup, but his two runs in Brisbane were promising, particularly his third in the Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) behind Quintessential and Manighar 10 days ago.
"He'd be the classiest horse we've had in the Cup for quite a few years," Ipswich Turf Club general manager Brett Kitching said. "At his fourth start he won at Longchamp in France and then in Rome before coming to Australia."
Zabeelionaire, who also ran in the Melbourne Cup after good lead-ups in the Caulfield Cup and Mackinnon Stakes, has also been nominated for the Ipswich Cup.
"The Cup probably has more depth this year than recent years," Kitching said. "There have always been good horse in the races and good horses have won it but this year there are more good horses."
Among other high profile trainers, champion New Zealand trainer John Wheeler has Gold Cape and I've Got a Feeling in the Cup and Jetset Lad who ran an unlucky second in the Eye Liner last year and was runner-up in two subsequent races.
Canny trainer Gerald Ryan also has chances in both feature races with Dances on Stars in the Eye Liner and Planetarium in the Cup.
Fresh from his close second in the Toowoomba Cup last week, Dodging Eddie will carry the local hope if he gets a start in the Cup.
The gelding, who is owned by a group of St Edmund's College Old Boys, is also nominated or the Queensland Times Provincial Cup over the Ipswich Cup distance.
Melbourne Cup-winning trainer John Meagher, who now trains in Brisbane with sons Daniel and Chris, has set Startsmeup for the Eye Liner.
The eye-catching nomination for in the Eye Liner is Conservatorium who ran second last start in the Group 1 Goodwood Handicap for trainer Gary Kennewell.
Kennewell's son Lloyd has also nominated last year's Adelaide Cup winner Rialya for the Ipswich Cup.