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Image: Darren Winningham
I'm A Rippa heads Tony Gollan's Eye Liner Stakes team

Defending titleholder I’m A Rippa will back up from defeat in the Stradbroke Handicap to head trainer Tony Gollan’s four-handed assault on the Listed Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich.

Gollan will also saddle Coldstone, Natch and Snitch in the $175,000 Eye Liner Stakes over 1350 metres.

I’m A Rippa led the Stradbroke field for a long way before weakening in the straight to beat just two horses home.

But Gollan said I’m A Rippa would back up in the Eye Liner as long as he continued to do well in the lead-up to Saturday.

“He made all the pace in the Stradbroke and they ran a course record,” Gollan said.

“I’m A Rippa won the Eye Liner last year so there is no reason he can’t do it again. He is down sharply in class and he has an ideal barrier in four.”

Gollan said Coldstone was also in the right type of race for him while Natch and Snitch were on the way up.

“If Coldstone can reproduce his Prime Minister’s Cup win three runs back he will test these,” Gollan said.

“Natch has a bad barrier but he likes the distance. Snitch was one of the few to make ground out wide when second at Eagle Farm at his last start.”

Gollan has a strong team on Saturday and is keen to add to his Ipswich Cup day record which includes an Ipswich Cup with Brave Ali and two Eye Liners with Alma’s Fury and I’m A Rippa.

He had elected to scratch smart Ef Troop from the Three-Year-Old handicap over 1100m and instead the colt will tackle the Class Six Plate (1200m).

“He is still drawn wide but I will claim on him with Baylee Nothdurft,” Gollan said.

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