By Glenn Davis
Well bred filly All Shiraz is poised to end a long running drought on home turf for veteran trainer Rex Lipp at Toowoomba on Wednesday.
Lipp has been based at Toowoomba for around 30 years and trained his first winner at Eagle Farm in 1989.
The astute horseman worked for 16 years at Eureka Stud at Cambooya on Queensland’s famous Darling Downs before breaking-in and pre-training horses for the late Bruce McLachlan prior to gaining a trainers’ licence.
He trained his first Group 1 winner with Star Shiraz in the Sires' Produce Stakes at Eagle Farm in 2004 before claiming his second at the highest level with Tinto in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks in 2014.
Lipp had intended to retire due to health problems at the time of Tinto’s famous Oaks victory but the training bug was too hard to overcome.
All Shiraz, a daughter of Love Conquers All, is out of the Listed race winner Royal Shiraz and is having only her sixth race start in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Maiden Handicap (1625m).
At her last appearance, All Shiraz missed a place for only the second time in her career when fourth to the Ben Currie-trained Mishani Roman in a 1300-metre maiden at Toowoomba on October 20.
She previously placed three times at the Gold Coast and Toowoomba (twice) with her only failure when she stepped up to city grade finishing seventh, just over two lengths behind the Steve O’dea-trained Invigorating at Doomben in September.
“All her runs have been good,” Lipp said.
“She’s been charging home in all her races and is looking for 1600 metres.
“If there’s genuine pace she’ll be hard to beat although she’ll need some luck in running coming from behind.”
When Lipp was at his peak he had more than 50 horses in work and won two Weetwood Handicaps with Archikeelya (1994) and Gene’s Interest (1998) while his tally of Toowoomba Cups is four.
He claimed his first Toowoomba Cup with Gene’s Interest in 1999 followed by Director’s Special (2000), Sir Sensible (2008) and Jussemi (2009).
Despite his Toowoomba triumphs in major races, Lipp has had a lean time of late with only a small team in work.
He is yet to train a winner at Clifford Park this season although he has had several “away” winners.
“I’ve only got about 18 horses in work and only about six are racing so I haven’t really had the chance,” he said.
Racing Queensland webnews October 30