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"Stronger" Lucky Lance set for Ipswich Gold Cup tilt

Race-5-I-m-Explosive-DSE-1974-jpg.JPGBy Jordan Gerrans

Just days after returning from a Victorian campaign, Robert Ayres believes Lucky Lance has come back a stronger dog from the experience ahead of heats for the Group 2 Ipswich Gold Cup on Thursday evening.

The Glass House Mountains-based team heads towards the heats with a double-pronged attack, Lucky Lance in the sixth race of the evening and kennelmate I’m Explosive, who has a strong Ipswich record, in the following event.

Lucky Lance ran a gallant race in last month’s Group 2 Cranbourne Cup and quickly made the trip back to the Sunshine State for the 2021 Ipswich Gold Cup.

The black dog’s long-term racing future likely will be in Victoria with connections and Ayres hopeful of winning a Cup race or two along the journey.

The nine-time winner from 28 career starts may also head towards the Casino Cup following his Ipswich Gold Cup tilt.

Lucky Lance enjoyed 12 Victorian starts since the start of August for three victories and four minor placings, culminating in a sixth-placed finish in the Cranbourne Cup, as he was trained by part-owner Gavin Kearns during his time in the southern state.

“He has been racing against some very good dogs and made the Final of the Cranbourne Cup, which is no mean feat,” Ayres said.

“He is a stronger dog now than what he was in the early days when we first went up against a dog like Orchestrate, where he ran third.

“He is a strong dog and will buffet his way through on the fence.

“Hopefully we will be able to show he is a different dog this week.”

The veteran trainer rates Lucky Lance the best of his two chances in Thursday night’s heats of the Group 2 Ipswich Gold Cup over 520 metres but he is certainly not discounting I’m Explosive.

Lucky Lance Next Racing
I'M Explosive Next Racing

Both are out of a Barcia Bale litter, I’m Explosive has run a career best time of 30.24 seconds over the 520-metre trip at Ipswich and is yet to finish outside the money in seven career attempts at the track.

Ayres, who trains a team of five dogs, is buoyed by I’m Explosive’s strong second-placed finish in the Ipswich Young Guns Final at the track earlier this year as a lead-in to this week’s heats.

In those dozen Victorian race starts, Lucky Lance only drew inside of box three on one occasion – where he won from box two at Sandown – with Ayres stoked to again be in box two this week at Ipswich.

“He is a mad railer,” he said.

“He is in his right position now, near the fence.

“He has tremendous speed from about the 150-metre mark to the 300-metre, back straight stuff.

“He is well suited after drawing a box he likes.”

Eight heats will be run on Thursday evening at Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club with outstanding fields vying for a slot in next Thursday’s Group 2 Final, to be worth $113,000 in total prize money this year.

Reigning Capalaba Cup champion Impact, trained by Kevin Ellis, and Leanne Hall’s Extra Malt, who has won her last three trips to the races, will be hard to beat come Final time, Ayres thinks.

“Impact has been going brilliant and Extra Malt has a nice heat, anyone could get through but I think Impact is the stand out dog,” he said.

“He has run 30.09 and 30.23, he is just so fast early and that is how you win these big races.”



Ipswich | Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club | 6:40 PM

TAB Ipswich Gold Cup (G2) H