By Glenn Davis
If it wasn’t for a little gem called Our Beebee, trainer Rex Lipp would have his feet up in retirement.
Lipp turns 70 next month and has been one of Queensland’s leading trainers since claiming his first metropolitan winner in Brisbane with Rose Road in 1989.
Lipp is accustomed to taking on the Brisbane winter carnival invaders each year and will meet the challenge again when Our Beebee and stablemate In His Stride clash in the Listed Ascot Handicap at Doomben on Saturday.
Our Beebee has been lightly raced, starting only 14 times for four wins and three placings which is in stark contrast to In His Stride who has five wins and 12 placings in a 45-start career.
When asked if retirement was looming, Lipp played a straight bat.
“You never know when to retire but I’m 70 next month,” Lipp said.
“But if it wasn’t for Our Beebee, I probably would be retired now.”
Lipp’s career highlight was claiming two wins at the highest level with Star Shiraz in the 2004 Sires Produce Stakes at Eagle Farm and Queensland Oaks with Tinto in 2014.
Lipp has long believed Our Beebee has the potential to also win a Group 1 and is grateful for the patience of one of his most loyal clients, owner Harvey Black.
Our Beebee has had two starts this campaign as she prepares for the winter races, finishing fourth to subsequent Weetwood Handicap winner Amanaat at Doomben last month before an eye-catching fifth to Rhyme Nor Rhythm in Class Six grade at Toowoomba on April 7.
“She should have beaten Amanaat at Doomben and her last run was great,” Lipp said.
“She had the outside gate last start and got too far back and 1100 metres was too short for her.”
Lipp has no major winter plans in mind with Our Beebee but is ready to switch direction at any time if her form warrants it.
“We’re focusing on the fillies and mares’ races at this stage but you never rule out the better races like the Stradbroke Handicap,” Lipp said.
“She’ll run a hell of a race tomorrow but she’s not well drawn although she comes into nine with the scratchings so far.
“She doesn’t mind the sting out of the ground so any rain will help.”
Although the Ascot Handicap features Melbourne raider Mr Sneaky, Lipp rates the Ben Currie-trained Amanaat as the main danger to his pair.
“Our Beebee is my best chance but In His Stride ran a great race to run second over 1000 metres at Doomben last start,” he said.
“This is his big test whether he can run 1200 metres.”
Racing Queensland webnews April 20