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Aliraaj poised for another win for loyal owners

23 April 2024

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By Glenn Davis

Trainer Matt Kropp is hopeful Aliraaj can give his loyal owners, the Hover family, another success at Ipswich on Wednesday.

The New Zealand-bred Aliraaj - a Jason Taylor mount - lines up for his ninth start this campaign in the Benchmark 68 Handicap over 2180 metres.

The six-year-old is coming off a last-start second to the Jason Patton-trained Gripping in a 2150 metre Benchmark race at Ipswich on April 10 when ridden by apprentice Melea Castle.

Taylor was aboard the son of Iffraaj in his previous start when successful over the same trip at Ipswich on March 21.

Matt Kropp Next Racing
Aliraaj (NZ)

Darling Downs graziers Roland and Sharyn Hovey bought Aliraaj at the New Zealand breeze up sales and his recent win was his fifth for the stable.

Kropp has had a lot of success with horses purchased at the New Zealand ready to run sales.

“He’s been racing well and he’s always shown a lot of ability,” Kropp said.

“The trouble with him has been finding longer races as the longer the race the better it is.”

Aliraaj is a Jason Taylor mount on Wednesday.

Kropp isn’t concerned with a heavy track rating for Ipswich as Aliraaj is a two-time winner from three starts in the going.

“I don’t think the wet will bother him and these are the sorts of races that suit him,” he said.

Kropp will let Aliraaj determine his owner future with the Queensland Racing Carnival fast approaching.

“He’d have to improve a bit more to be a carnival stayer but we’ll take it one run at a time,” Kropp said.

“I don’t think we’ll be looking up north as they don’t have long enough races for him up there.”

Jockey Karl Zechner.

Kropp expects Aliraaj to put in another strong performance for the Hoveys who have raced many horses with him for around 10 years.

In an open race, Toowoomba trainer Brian Azel will be hoping Bringme can notch up a hat-trick of wins for jockey Karl Zechner.

Zechner receives limited opportunities in the metropolitan area and has ridden the four-year-old son of Outreach at his past two wins at Warwick and Ipswich.

Bringme was an impressive last-start winner, storming home from midfield on the turn for a dominant victory in a 1666 metre Class 2 Handicap on April 10.