Hot tips for the Cup: Riders like Jim Byrne worth following
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BERNADETTE Cooper never rode an Ipswich Cup winner.
However, she would love to race in one now given how big Ipswich Cup Day has become.
As a former jockey and Sky Racing analyst, Cooper offers some valuable insights into finding a winner in today's Ipswich Cup.
"Generally they don't want to be too far back in the field here,'' she said. "But by the same token, it can be a hotly contested race for the lead.
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"Ipswich is a real tricky track for visiting jockeys and horses so it's always nice if your horse has had a run here, is solid at the distance and has a jockey that really knows this track.
"Probably no-one knows this track as good as Jim Byrne. He's absolutely outstanding.
"If I had a runner, I'd like to have him on it.''
Cooper was also thrilled for last year's Cup winner Tegan Harrison, the first female jockey to win the race.
"Tegan was just coming out of her time and it was at a time when it was vital that she really looked professional and looked the goods. And she did. That was terrific.''
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Cooper said Brave Ali was a horse "that looked like he was probably past his best'' but "hit that purple patch of form and bingo, Bob's your uncle.''
Cooper raced for 16 years, including a stint in Macau.
"I didn't ride any champions. I rode a few group winners without riding a Group one,'' she said.
"Sunline beat me by a head, or a neck, in a Group One run in the (2002) Coolmore. That was awesome but it was devastating (at the same time).''
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