As a jockey Chris Munce won an Ipswich Cup on one of the best stayers produced in Queensland but he believes a horse doesn’t need to be a champion to win the Listed race.
Now as a trainer Munce has hopes the Ipswich Cup’s reputation as a race for horses down in the weights can help the stable’s hope First Crush on Saturday.
Munce knows what it takes to win the Ipswich Cup (2150m) having scored as a jockey on Oompala in 1994.
The John Wallace-trained Oompala won five staying race Cups and went on to run third in the 1994 Melbourne Cup behind Jeune and Paris Lane.
But for the past 60 years the Ipswich Cup has proved a hoodoo for topweights with 2016 winner Maurus the only one with more than 57.5kg in 50 years.
“First Crush will be much better suited on Saturday than his last start in the Lord Mayors Cup. He was ridden a bit out of his comfort zone and weight-for-age didn’t suit,” Munce said.
“He is headed to the Grafton Cup next month but with a light weight here and out to a suitable distance I would be looking for a good run.”
First Crush, who will be ridden by Matt McGillivray, has won six races and showed he was up to Ipswich Cup class when he beat a strong field of stayers in an open handicap at Doomben in March.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Ecuador is the topweight with 60kg with Tradesman from the Darren Weir stable to carry 57kg.
All other runners are on the 54kg limit.
Tradesman, to be ridden by Dean Yendall, is the odds-on favourite at $1.75 ahead of Ecuador at $5.50.
Ecuador will be ridden by Tegan Harrison who Harrison has won the Listed Gold Coast Cup and the Group Three Dark Jewel Stakes at Scone in recent weeks.
“It is always an honour to ride for the Waterhouse/Bott stable and Ecuador looks a good ride,” she said.