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Epic and Volkhere are both set to back up in the Ipswich Cup from solid efforts in defeat on Stradbroke Handicap day.

Epic ran third to Strawberry Boy and Flamingo Star in the Listed Wayne Wilson Memorial (1600m) at Doomben on Saturday while Volkhere was fifth in the Group Two Brisbane Cup won by Jetset Lad.

Luke Tarrant was forced to make a long sweeping run on Epic who ran the fastest final 600m for the race.

Epic, who has had leg problems throughout his career, has won five races and been placed a further four times from 12 starts at 1600m.

However, the seven-year-old Kelly Schweida-trained gelding has had only one start over longer than 1600m when second in an 1800m Eagle Farm handicap in July 2011.

Despite that statistic, Schweida said he was seriously considering backing him up to 2150 metres in Saturday’s Listed Ipswich Cup.

“His run was very good. He kept coming and got beaten less than a length by two very smart horses,” Schweida said.

“They were only a fraction outside the course record. I have always thought he would run a strong 2000 metres and the Ipswich Cup it is probably a good race to find out.”

Fellow trainer Robert Heathcote is also keen for Volkhere to run in the race he was won twice before with Our Lukas.

“He loves racing and he will be up near the pace. Why not back him up?” Heathcote said.

Heathcote will not be at Ipswich, deciding instead to take a three-week break in Europe from Monday.

“It has been another pretty good season and our stable will finish second to Tony Gollan in the metropolitan premiership this year,” he said.

“But I made a promise to myself a few years ago to stay in shape and have a good holiday every year. Training is a very demanding job and you have to stay on top of things.”

 
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