The track is rated a Soft 5 but with fine, warm days ahead it should improve to a Good 4 by the first race and potentially an upgrade during the day. The track raced well last Friday when it was rain-affected, but following a spell of dry weather it should be close to perfect for this meeting. The rail is in the 4m position, out from the 2m position last Friday. While it is a tight-turning track, every horse tends to get their chance to win. It's all about momentum at Ipswich. As long as the backmarkers are in the clear and winding up from the 600m, they get their opportunity to win.
BEST BET: RACE 3, NO8 PINOLINO. NEXT BEST: RACE 6, NO2 SUNNY VICTORY. BEST ROUGHIE: RACE 7, NO7 BIG DECISION.
R1 1.18pm MELBOURNE CUP LUNCHEON AT ITC COLTS, GELDINGS & ENTIRES CLASS 2 HANDICAP 1000m
Leading trainer Tony Gollan has a strong hand in the opener. He'll saddle up BEARSKIN, who should be nearing peak fitness at his third run back from a spell and put the writing on the wall last start at Doomben when runner-up to the promising Sunny Victory. His best form has been at this trip, winning two from three and gate one should afford him a soft run. His rider Jim Byrne knows Ipswich like the back of his hand and should bring him in with a well-timed run in the straight. The blinkers going back on is also a positive sign for him.
His stablemate MADIBA shapes as the main danger. He's cherry ripe for this assignment and has a lethal record at this track and distance, winning two from three. He makes his own luck and is drawn perfectly.
REVERSE LOGIC scored a brilliant first-up win at Gatton. Although it was only a Maiden race and the strength of his opposition was questionable, he has scope for further improvement and drops 3.5kg.
ALL THE CREDIT is resuming but has a good fresh record and showed promise last campaign.
SELECTIONS: NO1 BEARSKIN, NO3 MADIBA, NO6 REVERSE LOGIC, NO2 ALL THE CREDIT.
VALUE RUNNER: NO6 REVERSE LOGIC.
R2 1.55pm BOOK YOUR MELBOURNE CUP FUNCTION FILLIES & MARES CLASS TWO HANDICAP 1000m
A very interesting race with some promising mares set for an enthralling clash.
MAGIC LOVE is going through her grades in impressive fashion. She looks bound for Saturday races and will give this a huge shake with in-form jockey Jeff Lloyd booked to ride. She has good tactical speed, which should see her either lead or take a position just off the speed and be poised to pounce in the straight. Her turn of foot in races sets her apart from the average types.
INVINCIBLE EXPRESS won't be any pushover however. She had little more than a track gallop when she bolted in at the Sunshine Coast first-up. That was on a heavy track which might have flattered her win somewhat but she's always shown plenty of promise and this might well be her best campaign.
MAJELLA MAGIC bolted in at this circuit two starts back before running a handy fourth at Doomben. She's been freshened up for this assignment and is bound to figure in the finish.
MISS ZINZIN scored a dominant win at Grafton last start. Although she's meeting stronger opposition here, she looked good last time out and is pitchforked into this race after Tiffani Brooker's allowance.
R3 2.35pm NOVEMBER 1 SUMPTUOUS BUFFET MAIDEN PLATE 1666m
PINOLINO (Best Bet) is a light-raced mare who looks well placed under these conditions, dropping 2kg on her last run when a sound third at the Sunshine Coast. She should get a perfect run from barrier one with leading apprentice Jimmy Orman booked for the ride. She carries the famous Ethereal colours and although she has a lot to live up to, this looks a perfect race for her to record her first victory. She's only had the two starts and has performed well on each occasion. The bulk of her rivals have limited ability and look to have their work cut out to match it with her.
SELECTIONS: NO8 PINOLINO, NO3 RAUCOUS, NO1 LIGHTNING ROCK, NO6 THE GRINGO.
VALUE RUNNER: NO6 THE GRINGO.
R4 3.10pm BOOK YOUR FUNCTION NOW MAIDEN HANDICAP 1200m
It's worth keeping a close eye on the market here with RULER'S PRIDE. He resumes from a spell and his astute trainer Michael Nolan has booked leading jockey Jeff Lloyd for the ride. That's an instructive lead in itself. This colt was narrowly beaten at this track at his first start then was blocked for a run at his next start behind a talented filly who went on to compete in black type company during the winter carnival. If there's even skerrick of money for him, it's worth following.
LIPSTICK LOVER is the obvious danger and will have plenty of supporters in her corner. She missed the start at her debut but has since scored an easy win in a Deagon barrier trial, suggesting she's come on well since her first start.
OLYMPIC PRINCE has drawn a lovely gate which was in stark contrast to his last run when he drew the outside alley, was forced to do some work to cross to the lead, then held on well to finish third at Doomben.
KING OF THE CASTLE chased home a couple of promising types at the Gold Coast last start when he had to contend with the outside alley. He's drawn a touch awkwardly again but is worth including in multiples.
SELECTIONS: NO4 RULER'S PRIDE, NO6 LIPSTICK LOVER, NO1 OLYMPIC PRINCE, NO8 KING OF THE CASTLE.
MOON AND THE STARS caught the eye at Eagle Farm when she finished the race off strongly to run fourth to One Inch Punch after striking early bother. That was against open company in city Saturday class and she drops back to midweek company here in easier grade. After Tiffani Brooker's claim she only carries a kilo more than she did last time. That looks a winning formula.
EXTRASAY is getting better each time she steps out this campaign. She powered to the line over this distance range at Doomben and is building an excellent record at the mile. The Tony Gollan- Robbie Fradd combination is also becoming a formidable one in recent weeks.
GOOD JOB BRO ran an improved race last start at Eagle Farm to finish third. Again, that was in Saturday company and he will enjoy the drop back to easier midweek standard. From gate one he should get a cosy run with Jeff Lloyd aboard and be strong at the finish.
FUSINA can mix his form at times but when he's on song he's a smart miler. He didn't appear to handle the going at Eagle Farm last start. His good record at this track keeps him in contention.
SELECTIONS: NO3 MOON AND THE STARS, NO7 EXTRASAY, NO1 GOOD JOB BRO, NO2 FUSINA.
VALUE RUNNER: NO2 FUSINA.
R6 4.20pm CHRISTMAS FUNCTIONS AT ITC CLASS 4 HANDICAP 1200m
SUNNY VICTORY (Next Best Bet) is airborne this campaign. He's won three of his past four starts and on the other occasion when he was beaten he was taking on a strong Saturday race at Doomben when the outside alley in the big field brought him unstuck. He bounced back to winning form last start when he scored comfortably over this trip at Doomben. He's been kept ticking over since last run with a hit out in a Deagon barrier trial and he has a great record at Ipswich, winning two of his three starts. This looks another winnable race.
R7 5.00pm BOOK NOW FOR FESTIVE BUFFET CLASS 5 HANDICAP 1350m
VA VA VENI is the class runner of the race and looked in good shape recently when he scored a narrow but impressive win in a Gold Coast barrier trial to top him right off for his comeback to racing. He has enough early speed to overcome a wide alley and he raced well at this track last campaign. He can graduate to bigger and better things this campaign.
SHIPWRECKED was going along beautifully this campaign until he went to Eagle Farm at his past two starts. He simply didn't handle that track and it's best to just put the pen through those runs as a reliable guide. He's a trip specialist, winning three from four including his only go at this circuit.
BIG DECISION (Best Roughie) has been unplaced at his past three starts but there's a common denominator in those defeats: Eagle Farm. He might be the big improver here from gate one with Jeff Lloyd aboard.
Similarly, his stablemate NEUSCHWANSTEIN has been trapped in the wrong part of the track at Eagle Farm at his past two starts. He has an excellent record at Ipswich and is pitchforked into the race after Brooke Stower's allowance, which sees him carry one kilogram under the limit weight.
If you're looking to go wide in multiples, then include BEAUMARIS, who will get back but is capable of unleashing a powerhouse finish if he's within striking range on the corner.
SELECTIONS: NO1 VA VA VENI, NO4 SHIPWRECKED, NO7 BIG DECISION, NO8 NEUSCHWANSTEIN.
VALUE RUNNER: NO7 BIG DECISION.