By Glenn Davis
Trainer Rex Lipp will restrict In His Stride to second-tier winter races despite the gelding’s upset win in the Ascot Handicap at Doomben on Saturday.
In His Stride gave jockey Jim Orman his biggest win since making his comeback from a serious back injury when he downed Hi I’m Back by 1-1/4 lengths in the 1200-metre Listed feature.
Tisani Tomso ran a gallant third, a short head away.
In His Stride raced midfield but Orman’s tactics to stick to the fence paid off handsomely when the five-year-old registered his sixth win from 46 starts.
“He’s been racing well and won well at the Sunshine Coast two runs back but he got too far back in the field when he ran second last time,” Lipp said.
“I’ve got no plans for him at all for the winter but he could go to one of the better races over 1200 metres at some stage.
“But he definitely won’t be running in the big races likes the Doomben 10,000 or Stradbroke Handicaps.”
Stewards later ruled Weetwood Handicap winner and race favourite Amanaat a non-runner after he missed the start when his head was caught up with the barrier partition.
Lipp also was pleased with the performance from Our Beebee who finished just behind the placegetters.
“Our Beebee’s run was fantastic and I thought she was unlucky not to win after getting knocked down on the turn,” he said.
“She’ll go to the Silk Stocking next.”
Earlier leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller signalled his intentions for a big winter carnival when Irish import Xebec made it back-to-back wins in the Open Handicap (2200m).
Xebec, ridden by premier jockey Jeff Lloyd, led all the way to down stablemate Exoteric by 1-1/4 lengths.
Waller completed the trifecta when the well-backed Irish Optimism finished third, a further four lengths away.
Lloyd, a winner of 94 Group 1’s around the world, is riding at his last Brisbane winter carnival before retiring later this year.
Xebec was sent north to bypass the harder races in Sydney during the autumn carnival and showed he could be a winter force winning his first Australian race at Doomben last month.
The six-year-old began his career under trainer John Oxx in Ireland but had not been successful since winning at Bellewstown in August, 2016.
Waller’s stable foreman Paul Shailer is preparing for a further influx of Waller horses to arrive at his Gold Coast stables next week.
“We had a few arrive yesterday but another eight or nine are due to come up next week,” Shailer said.
Shailer saddled three Waller runners in the Open Handicap but Exebec’s win was no surprise.
“All three stayers have been racing consistently but the race was pace dominated and fortunately, Xebec had the right racing style to win,” he said.
“He’s in a purple patch of form and enjoys leading and if he gets to run soft sectionals he’s always hard to run down.”
Racing Queensland webnews April 21