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Top Line-up for City of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes with Acatour Favourite to Win!

Written on the 16 June 2017

With Ipswich Turf Club still awaiting approval from Racing Queensland on the $14m racecourse redevelopment, that all gets put aside for Ipswich's big day of racing, The Ipswich Cup Day, Saturday, June 17th.

We review some of the top line-ups for the $175,000 City of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes over 1350 metres held Saturday afternoon.

Heading the field as favourite is Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Acatour ($5.00). The 3yo colt had a nice return to form in April at the China Horse Club Carbine Club (G3) in Randwick over 1600 metres.

The Snowden team has Acatour set for a two-start Queensland campaign - The Eye Liner Stakes and the Sunshine Coast Guineas next month.

Snowden hopes the Sebring sired colt's late carnival appearance may flick a switch on the ability he has long maintained. 

"I had big aspirations for him," he said. "I thought he was a Doncaster horse earlier in his preparation.

"In the spring in Melbourne he was ok, he ran a couple of good races without setting the world alight.

"This time it's been a bit the same. He's a bit up and down.

"He's a bit of a funny horse, but I've worked him out. He's a fresh horse, space his runs and keep him up to a mile.

"To be honest, (the Eye Liner Stakes) was the only race that suited him. There was nothing else I could run him in to get to the Guineas.

"He will run well. He's very fresh, he's had two trials and both were strong over 1000m.

"He will need luck, he will get back to midfield or a bit worse and that track is going to be hard for swoopers to get them, but he's good enough to win if he gets the right luck."

Peter Snowden believes a drying track will help his cause.

"If it's just a soft track, no problem. Heavy (10), that's a bit of an issue," Snowden said.

The Toby Edmonds-trained The Virginian ($5.50) has done well in his last two campaigns with a 4th place at Ascot Green Moreton Cup (G2) over 1200 metres in Doomben on a Good track and 1st place at Ipg Marketing Chief De Beers (LR) over 1050 metres in Doomben on a Heavy track - both times ridden by Jim Byrne. Details are not released of the jockey yet with Jim Byrne choosing to ride Perfect Dare instead. Perhaps with gate 2 and some rain this still improving 4yo gelding will do okay.

Jim Byrne as mentioned takes the reigns of Perfect Dare ($7.50) and after winning two Group 1 races this winter carnival, this Fastnet Rock gelding might be the one to watch if the track improves. He seems to have a good relationship with Byrne having won a few races with him, the last being Nrra Country C'ship Qual (C5) in Grafton over 1400 metres.

Cantbuybetter ($8.50) trained by Ben Currie has had a successful season with 3 wins and 2 placings out of 6 starts. We haven't seen a performance on a Heavy track as yet, so this could be his first and will be one to watch.

The experienced Shiraz ($8.50) makes his Queensland debut this weekend. With only a 2nd placing this season, he might do well if the Heavy track remains.

(Photo: Blake Shinn riding Acatour - Photo source:



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